July 28, 2011

What skill did you learn from a book?

My doorway to science.
When I want to learn how to do something, I read a book about it. And then I read more books about it, and then more. In this way, I've learned to do a number of things.

I learned how to ride a motorcycle by reading a book. I never spoke to a single human being about motorcycles. I read a book, rented a bike on three successive weekends and tooled around the Shea Stadium parking lot, trying stuff they talked about in the book. When I could do it all, I scheduled my test and got my motorcycle license.

Then I bought a bike and read the manual. I never in my life spoke to another human being about motorcycle maintenance, but my bike was always in perfect condition because I learned how to take care of it by reading the manual. (I also have a good work ethic and did everything the manual suggested.)

There was a time in my human rights work when I became aggravated by the mistakes that always appeared in our published works. Someone on the production end muffed it every single time, often killing the very point of the publication. So I bought books on desktop publishing and the elements of good page design. I read them all, practiced each lesson they taught me, and was able to create four good-looking newsletters, tons of flyers and reports (and many funny things for my friends). I learned it all from reading. (Same with software. I'm the guy who actually read the manuals. You may have heard of me.)

Enough from my end. What skills have you learned from a book?

9 comments:

cm said...

I always read assembly directions and follow them step by step. Does that count?

writenow said...

Only if you really, really enjoyed the wording.

cm said...

The ones that make for interesting reading ate the instructions that are translated from Japanese to English by a program. Words literally get lost in translation.

cm said...

Are, not ate. See what I mean?

writenow said...

Annie, I thought you meant the translation ate the instructions. Worked for me!

cm said...

That did work better actually. BTW, that was me, C.

writenow said...

Google sends emails to bloggers, saying someone has commented on the blog. About a month ago, all these comment emails started to arrive with Artichoke Annie listed as the sender, no matter who posted the comment. I have no idea why. It's some kind of glitch. That's why I was confused. I'll have to look at the actual comments rather than the emails, from now on.

Artichoke Annie said...

Hey this is great... now I don't even have to comment anymore to get credit.

I haven't come up with an answer yet, my first thought was, a cook book, but I am sure that won't pass Keith's mustard.

I love foreign translations of things into English. I'm sorry I never captured on film those many signs I saw around the world.

writenow said...

"now I don't even have to comment anymore to get credit."

With my volume, that's not a safe bet. But hi, real Annie!