Good Reading : May 2015
23 OPINION GOOD READING MAY 2015 Christian evangelists, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins. It was a brand-new copy. My neighbour, a regular churchgoer, told me that he had bought about 20 copies of the book and was giving them away to everyone in his immediate circle of friends and family. He had spent close to $400 for this stack of books. I’m about as motivated to read religious propaganda as I am to read corporate parables that urge me to compliantly accept workplace restructuring without question. So this was another book that I instantly flung into the box for the Salvos. Strange as it may sound, it wasn’t the fact that I had no desire to read these books that bothered me the most. We’ve all bought gifts for people that – despite our best efforts – didn’t hit the mark. But this book had been bought in bulk, and what rankled was the sense of imposition that accompanied it: I have a set of ideas, and I want to impose them upon everyone in the workplace. Both May’s book and the book that my neighbour gave me smacked of the school curriculum text, bought in great quantities for the edification of the masses – whether we wanted to read it or not. Most gifts are bought with the aim of inducing delight in the recipient, and the needs and desires of the giver are usually expected to be secondary to those of the recipient. But with the bulk book gift it’s all about the satisfaction of the giver, who revels in the knowledge that their (often strange and unwelcome) ideas are propagating throughout as many minds as possible. If you really love a book and you want everyone to know about it, you might consider first trying to develop a spruiker’s pitch for it. Equipped with a persuasive sales patter, you might have more success if you try to charm your friends and family into reading it, instead of gently bludgeoning them with guilt by buying them all a copy. Even gifts that we select with a great deal of effort often end up unused, so who wants to waste their money by buying dozens of gifts that get turfed out with the paper recycling? The Salvos, in any case, have already received more copies of Who Moved My Cheese? and Left Behind than they could ever attempt to shift. me to compliantly accept workplace restructuring without question. So this was another book that I instantly flung into the It wasn’t the fact that I had no desire to read these books that bothered me the most.