A few weeks ago, I attempted to read the book Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. It had 4.5 out of 5 stars in 118 reviews on Amazon.com. The descriptions made it sound both useful and interesting.

I never finished it. And, as a result, I will not link to it or endorse it in any way. If you'd like my copy, it's yours for free.

Don't get me wrong. The book is well intended and has a good message. But it delivers it in a way that bugs the hell out of me. If the authors had removed the all-too-frequent "real people" passages that the book is full of and simply stuck to the basics, it would have been excellent. And about 38 pages long.

After an hour of trying to read the first few chapters, I finished by skimming the book, greping out the interesting ideas, and putting in the "done, won't read again" pile.

This is sad, really, because the book has some very valuable and important things to say about the often inflated value of "work life" and personal income in our society. Far to many people don't stop to think about living a life rather than living a job. Perhaps one day I'll write about my longer-term plan for not working full-time until I retire or die. The bits of this book that I did read helped me to solidify that.

Posted by jzawodn at February 08, 2004 09:09 PM

Reader Comments
# Sean said:

In the latest Scott Adams/Dilbert hardcover book ("Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel", I think), he mentions something similar. He says he'd thought about writing a financial-advice book, but realized everything he'd learned about the subject would fit on one page. Then he gives you that page -- I thought it was pretty good. (Maybe this isn't the same as what you're looking for. If so, I apologize.)

on February 9, 2004 04:42 AM
# Luke said:

I read this book a few years back, when I was starting to break out of my workaholism (I owned a software company). My experience was that it was not a great book, but it was an important one for me to read. It really let me see that there were a lot of other ways it was possible to approach life/work balance than my way.

Does a book have to good for me to recommend it? Not sure. For a novel, definitely. For a book like this, I don't think so. I'd recommend Your Money for Your Life, with your caveats.

on February 9, 2004 07:05 AM
# Scott Johnson said:

What's the intended message of this book?

on February 9, 2004 11:03 PM
# JJ said:

"Greping out". I like that...
BTW, I guess that book would have no success down here, on this side of the puddle. Even less in the Mediterranean side. Work is almost never put before life.

on February 10, 2004 04:09 AM
# James said:

After following a link from the Question Mark grammarflame post, I must unleash my Reichlike tendencies and say: gre*pp*ing :)

on February 13, 2004 10:59 AM
# mvbma said:

When you realized at 50 that you have wasted all your time working for Yahoo or any other corporation you'll realize the message of this book.

on January 28, 2006 10:41 PM
# Steve in MA said:

I don't get it. It has a valuable message which helped solidify something important for you, yet you won't recommend it? And, clearly, many people do not have the criticism of the book that you have (which is that it is long-winded).

Sometimes getting value out of reading takes some work and wading through some long-windedness. And repetition has value in both teaching and in motivational writing.

on September 13, 2009 06:45 PM
# Rose DeShaw said:

Just called my son who forgot my birthday and asked him instead of a present to read this book. And he said, 'yeah, sure he would.' Maybe he will. He's in a hotel room with time on his hands at the moment. Wish he had money in those hands. But I haven't read this book. And I hope there's some good in it for him. Your comment helps. It makes me see the book as not the holy bible or the most glorious message ever sent but with some wisdom that might help. I think its important to tell people your honest impressions and this is what you think. Glad you said it. Rose

on September 26, 2009 09:12 AM
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. My current, past, or previous employers are not responsible for what I write here, the comments left by others, or the photos I may share. If you have questions, please contact me. Also, I am not a journalist or reporter. Don't "pitch" me.


Privacy: I do not share or publish the email addresses or IP addresses of anyone posting a comment here without consent. However, I do reserve the right to remove comments that are spammy, off-topic, or otherwise unsuitable based on my comment policy. In a few cases, I may leave spammy comments but remove any URLs they contain.