On Learning from Books
I am somewhat ambivalent about how much one can learn from books. On the one hand, I have myself learned a great deal from books over the years. And clearly i believe in the possibility, or I should not have troubled to write a book myself. On the other hand, I am aware that there are many more books I have read from which I have learned little or nothing - indeed completely forgotten.
Part of that is my responsibility, of course. If I have not taken the trouble to reflect on the ideas, and then to try them out, I will retain little if anything, and gain less. On the other hand, some of that is down to the book itself: how well it communicates the learning it is intended to impart.
I was very fortunate in having Andrew Derrington to help me with the editing of my book. One of his frequent challenges to me was to make the how and the why more explicit at every stage of the book. I was, if I am honest, concerned that such repetition might make the book monotonous or pedestrian. But I think he was right. Not only are people saying they like the clear way in which the book is written, but also I am receiving an increasing number of reports of people putting the learning into practice.
That is all hugely encouraging; and one of the things I really want to do with the book is start a conversation and a sharing of experience around applying these ideas. So I would be grateful if anyone applying them (successfully or not) could share their experiences on this blog site, so that I and others may learn from them.