Thursday, 15 May 2008

Booking Through Thursday

This week's BTT is:

"Scenario: You’ve just bought some complicated gadget home . . . do you read the accompanying documentation? Or not?
  • Do you ever read manuals?
  • How-to books?
  • Self-help guides?
  • Anything at all?"
Firstly, I never, ever read the bumpf that comes with new gadget purchases and this has been known to cause some domestic tension! I prefer to learn by playing about when it comes to kit like new camera and most new stuff is set up like the old one (think DVD player, washing machines, speakers, kettle, etc!) In very special instances I might turn to the "book of words" but generally that's only after at least 30 mins of swearing at a new shiny toy! I think I don't read the instructions because 1) I often, wrongly, believe I am cleverer than the machine and 2) they are generally awfully boring and go on and on in far too much depth about things like how to insert a plug into a socket. I pity the poor people who have to write these documents day in and day out.

I never read manuals. This is because neither Mr B or I are of any use when it comes to practical projects and I have a very useful brother-in-law and the numbers of a few good professionals should anything clever need doing!

I have a few how-to books (sewing, gardening, diy, software help) but generally will have a quick flick through at point of receipt, mentally note several projects that I will never embark upon and then place them on a bookshelf for reference purposes. I will then use the internet to look up how to actually do anything should I need to.

I don't think I own, or have read, any self-help guides. I did stop smoking after hypnosis and used a follow up CD to reinforce the message and I suppose that sort of counts. I still wish I'd done it years before though! Kids - it's never cool to smoke.


Anonymous said...

My problem with how to books - how to have the perfect small garden and the like - is that the people who write them never seem to be starting from the same place I am. They call for adaptation and if I could get that far I wouldn't have needed the book in the first place.

Lynda said...

I agree with table talk - how to books, especially gardening ones never seem to sork for me as my garden / yard / materials etc. are completely different!
Now cookery books are ok ;0)

Kat said...

I say cookbooks are among the best how-to books in the world. It's either you succeed or fail with it hehe.

I usually tinker with something before I read the manual... if I do ever get around to that hehe.

BooksPlease said...

I agree instruction manuals are boring - when I can understand them and even worse when I can't.

As for cook books I often adapt the recipe to suit, but I do like reading them very much.

How-to books just don't work for me.

Marie Cloutier said...

i love the illustration on your blog.

i do the same thing with craft books sometime- just use them as reference and not do the projects i like!

Chrisbookarama said...

I love your answer and agree!

Megan said...

table talk makes a great point that is true for a lot of how to and self help books. They just don't match up with your life. They are all good in theory but they aren't related to who you are. That being said I usually do find one or two helpful things to take out them and it is usually worth it seeing how I probably only paid 50 cents for it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, hypnosis, is it really so efficient as it's said to be? I tried with Allan Carr book, but didn't work, hey I forgot in my answer : this is a self-help book;o)

jlshall said...

Yes, learning by "playing about" is the method of choice for me, too. But I'm glad to know those quit-smoking CDs work. I've never smoked, but I did record a quit-smoking tape once (years ago – before CDs were thought of), and I was very proud of myself until they told me they chose me because they wanted someone who could read the copy in an emotionless monotone!

I also love the little illustration on your blog. Is that a "bookling"?

Peta said...

Ahh - cook books. I'd forgotten about them! Now they are how-to books that I do occasionally consult. I have a bit of a stack of them in my kitchen and it's quite nice having a browse through (for example) the various ideas for fish and then preparing something I've not tried before. I am with booksplease though and will adapt to suit mood, inclination and ingredients to hand.

Thanks for the illustration comments. Sadly, I can't claim the artistic talent for myself as Booklings come from "The City of Dreaming Books" by Walter Moers and I've scanned and then played with them in Adobe Illustrator.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Now when John Wayne rode in to town to tackle the cattle barons in their fancy Eastern Style ranches you never see anyone struggling with a flat pack manual. Yet mail order catalogues took off in the 19th century so did the fancy furniture arrive all made up? We need an answer!!