23 January 2009

Help, I Need Somebody, Help!

Don't know why but I thought I could use some self-help books. At a nearby library, I picked up the following books:

  1. 10-Minute Clutter Control Room by Room - Hundreds of Easy, Effective Tips for Every Room in the House, by Skye Alexander
  2. The Caregiver's Survival Handbook - How To Care for Your Aging Parent Without Losing Yourself, by Alexis Abramson with Mary Anne Dunkin
  3. Tweens - What to expect from - and how to survive - your child's pre-teen years, by Andrea Clifford-Poston
  4. Getting Things Done - The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen
Other than the Allen book, I picked the books just because they were there. I didn't hear about them elsewhere and don't know if they are the best in their areas. Got to start somewhere though.

The only book I'm done with is the Clutter one. It starts out nice, pointing out things that make sense, like getting rid of the physically large pieces restore space to the room the fastest. Or put things where they belong, or in Vietnamese, đâu vào đó. There are probably actually hundreds of tips, but many are really just expansion on the general ideas already outlined in the beginning. While I love recycling, some tips about recycling per se doesn't really into the clutter-buster theme. For instance, how can having a collector for food scraps under the sink, to collect materials for the backyard compost bin, help controlling clutter in the kitchen? Maybe the green fascists twisted the author's arm to include those tips. Really, I do love recycling myself.

I haven't started on the other books and most likely will start with Abramson's book next. After I finish Star Wars: Legacy of the Force - Exile, by Aaron Allston. So many books, so little time. I am curious if the Abramson book would help me, as some of the points of view are no doubt from a Western culture. My mother is still able to take care of herself, but there are things that she needs me to do. Her lessened hearing ability is very frustrating. Maybe there is a section in the book on the topic.

My son is 8 years old. Again, although he grows up in the U.S. and is very much an American boy, wife and I still brought him up the Asian way. Wonder how Ms. Clifford-Poston would help.

Last but not least, in my role as copy editor for ATPM, the online magazine, I kept reading about the various software for the Mac platform that can be used to help the user to achieve the art of stress-free productivity. If I really want to increase my productivity, a first step would be less time with Facebook word games, Yahoo!Answer non-questions and non-answers, etc.

Who knows, I may end up returning the books without reading them, as I usually do with movie DVDs. After all, one good tip with the Clutter book is to return things that you have borrowed for too long. So, even if I can renew the items over and over, why keep renewing if you simply don't have the time to read it?

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