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“What is wonderful about ‘wisdom literature’ is that, to the degree that we find patterns, consistencies and themes, it represents the most validated database in all human experience. To ignore it – not to try to learn from it – would seem an absurd disregard of resource.” Stephen R Covey

I have friends and family who deride my reading of wisdom literature. Yet they are good people. So – did they learn how to be good people by accident, or did they learn from good people how to be good people? And, if so, what is so odd about such people writing about what good they represented and exercised, so that those who did not get such wisdom taught, could learn from it.


Intelligent people read. They read what serves them and they read in an effort to discover what might serve them. If they read something that is out of kilter with what they believe, fine – at least they are better informed. But if they discover, as I did, something that astounds them – what an incredible opportunity for the next part of their lives!

I’ve pointed out before that books like The 7 Habits are rarely seen in charity shops. That book, to use a relevant example, has sold 25,000,000 copies. I think I saw one copy in a charity shop, once. Other books of that genre, including TimePower by Charles Hobbs (not the title-stealing version by Brian Tracy) I have still to see.

You see – and this is a guess because researching it would be impossible – books like that are seen by those reading and owning them to contain valuable, revisitable wisdom.

That’s why I have a library full. And Dan Brown goes back to the charity shop where I got it.