Estimated reading time: 1 mins
#$%% INFORMATION OVERLOAD !!)>%% If you’re anything like me, you’ve got far too much to read and not enough time to read it. Papers, emails, forms, magazines, books, websites and blogs. Loads of stuff to read. It’s always helpful to have a way of sorting the wheat from the chaffe!
Merlin Mann on his blog 43folders.com has come up with this novel list of ‘tests’ (or heuristics) he applies to books in 90 seconds to see whether it gets opened, or sent to the library in the sky. One test I like is:
Can you find the word “secret” anywhere on the cover of the book?
I avoid anything with secret in the title, as nothing is secret that is published.
Merlin’s article made me think, are there any tests I apply to IT specific books to whittle them out – even if irrational? After ten minutes of deep thought, this is what I came up with.
I avoid an IT-related book if…
- It’s been over 1.5 years since last revised
- Anything with ‘for dummies’ in the title
- The book’s cover has a picture of a man with a bushy beard
- The word ‘guaranteed’ appears on the cover somewhere
- The cover has an overly-geeky bias, like a plethora of control characters and command-line instructions
- The author’s picture on the rear is a bit freaky
So Merlin and I have have our lists. What heuristics do you apply before opening a book?