This innovative 1989 volume addressed an issue that has only gotten more prevalent as the decades have passed. Richard Saul Wurman designed it for those who want to understand the deluge of information that surrounds and confounds us every day at work and in the marketplace. If you can answer any of these question with a "yes," welcome aboard this ship:
• Do you find yourself unable to keep up with trends and happenings in your own arena of expertise or knowledge?
• Do you frequently find yourself not being able to explain something that you thought you understood?
• Have you ever felt depressed because you do not know what all the buttons are for on your electronics?
Wurman believes that we are all in "the understanding business" — trying to find ways to make information "useful, applicable, and approachable." To grasp hold of the enormity of this, ponder his awesome 21-page table of contents with sidebar quips and quotations, short and snappy paragraphs, and brief interviews. We especially appreciated the author's celebration of guides and his advocacy of curiosity, the inquiry method, and learning as making connections. Here are some quotes from the book:
• "A weekday edition of The New York Times contains more information than the average person was likely to come across in a lifetime in seventeenth-century England."
• "You don't have to know everything, you just need to find it."
• "Each way you organize information creates new information and new understanding."
• "Consider doing something 'the wrong way' and you often find a new or better way."
• "Computers are mascots of the information era."
• "The information we ingest shapes our personalities, contributes to the ideas we formulate, and colors our view of the world."