As I was returning from work, I dropped by the public library in our neighborhood and realized how much I enjoy going to libraries. The peaceful atmosphere, the people’s quest for knowledge and the visualization of bookshelves filled up pacify me somehow. Although I never manage to read all the books I borrow, I constantly place holds on the books I have been keen to read some day, pick them up and end up returning them when they are due without reading a single page. Today was another routine of those days. I think audio books are exactly targeted for people like me, who never find sufficient time to quench one’s thirst for reading.
I listened to 2 of them so far during my commutes. Both of them happened to be business bestsellers. This is partly because I guess business book readers opt for such format more than other genre readers and in consequence more business books seem to be available in audio books. Another factor is because business books are relatively more light and comprehensible and don’t require too much focus.
The first audio book I listened to was Different by Youngme Moon. It was like being in a marketing class. The introductory part was very intriguing since the writer tried her best to engage the readers by illustrating how marketing practices affected everyday lives and how her own personal life stories shaped her professional mindset. However, as the book proceeded to the main section, arraying cases into formal analysis the audio format wasn’t so appealing anymore. Despite having the option to select the chapters I listen to based on the title of each chapter, I ended up listening to the whole book in the order it was originally structured, because I couldn’t be bothered to shift through my mp3 files while I do grocery shopping.
The second one I recently finished was Delivering Happiness written by Tony Hsieh. He is a witty guy with admirable leadership style. Then again, there was a similar repertoire of excitement in the beginning about his personal background, but following banality of emphasis on customer service and corporate culture.
I also had some expectation about how he defined happiness, as this theme is what made me contemplate a lot before I joined a corporate foundation which was named the “Happiness Foundation.” It was hard for me to resonate with how he defined sustainable happiness. His idea seemed too idealistic to be realistic.
And it was lacking coherence too. The title of the book was all about Zappos business, the most successful online shoes retailer. As Zappos delivered shoes to its customers their shoes with no shipping cost, Zappos was rendering their customers happy. However, later in the book there is some mentioning that material pleasure does not lead to sustainable happiness.
As a side effect, while listening to this legendary growth story of an online retailer, I was more tempted than ever to shop online and get ample hands on experiences of being an e-commerce consumer. Although I was momentarily wowed at the arrival of endless packages, deep sighs follow. I am now left with no choice but to sell some stocks to pay for the credit card bills. I think the sequel to this dot.com bubble book should be about credit card crisis. 😛