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The Joy of Not Working: 21st Century Edition-A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked Paperback – 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Pr (2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580085520
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580085526
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 1.8 x 24.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #156,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Justin Onstot on Feb. 26 2002
Format: Paperback
Mr. Zelinski's book is dangerous stuff. I was warned by the people who recommended the book to me... don't read it unless you are ready to make a change. I bought the book, and managed to pull myself away from my 4 hours of evening television one night last summer. I finished the book, and I've never looked back. Ernie's book helped me to figure out what it is that I am really passionate about. And from the book I gained the courage to leave the Corporate job that was sucking the life from me. I now have a whole list of active, engaging activities from which to choose. No more vegging in front of the tube. No more letting my career be the defining pillar of my life. Do yourself a favor, and read The Joy of Not Working. But be warned, you'll never look at TV the same way again...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gail H. on Nov. 28 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book for anyone who is going to die in the next 100 years. In other words - it is time to wake up and realize that you don't have forever to get a life. If you don't have time today - when will you?
This book will get you thinking about what you really want in life. It might be more than money, stuff and a job title. Maybe you don't have to work quite so hard (according to Zelinski, even 8 hours a day is too much). If you are unemployed or retired maybe you could be enjoying your time more.
I recommend this book to just about anyone. It if full of life changing material, but at the same time is easy to read and entertaining. It is the type of book you will want to read more than once.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven Page on March 17 2004
Format: Paperback
My brother and I just spent a year on a sabbatical. When we were planning our time off, I searched the Internet for ideas and articles on the subject. I came across Ernie's book and went to Amazon to look it up. The description intrigued me and I ordered a copy. I am glad I did! The Joy of Not Working is a very helpful and funny book. The chapters on Zen and Money are my favorite. I have reread them several times. It is full of wit and wisdom with some funny cartoons to keep you laughing. I enjoyed in immensely and recommend it for anyone planning a sabbatical or about to enter retirement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sue K on Jan. 26 2004
Format: Paperback
I found The Joy of Not Working a fantastic read. It is full of advice, stories and excercises on bettering the quality of your life. It focuses on valuing your time - nurturing interests and talents that may have been ignored because of society's focus on working hard to make a lot of money. It is inspiring and talks about such topics as: putting money in perspective, getting the most out of your spare time, finding out what is really important to you, enjoying your own company, introspection, not wasting time worrying, along with many other topics. I highly recommend this book for those who feel a bit empty about what mainstream society deems important in life and want to search for a more meaningful life.
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Format: Paperback
I was caught in a corporate downsizing crunch in the early 90's at age 32. My whole identity was wrapped up in that job and when the carpet was pulled out from under, I was bereft and flailing. About a month later, I was in a book store and the title caught my eye. While leafing through, the chapter headings,one in particular made me smile, "Someone is Boring Me, I Think it is Me", it resonated with me instantly. With no job and way more free time than I wanted, I had to admit, I was a pretty boring person....even to myself! And you know, being bored to tears by your own existence is a sure fire path to depression.

For the past 18 years, I've been doing great and I'm much more interesting (at least to myself!) and interested in almost everything. I would have to say reading this book was a pivitol step. Somewhere along the line, I misplaced the book. I'm so excited to see an updated version is available. Can't wait to revisit it, this time with retirement in mind.

Highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
Warning: You will see the world and your place in it differently after reading this book. If you want things to stay the same, go bark up another tree. Now if you dream of doing things another way, living the life you have always imagined, well then this is a fine introduction to a new way of living. An easy, fun and enjoyable read, The Joy of Not Working will make you laugh and cry all at the same time, and succeeds at breaking you free from the losing end of the slave trade.

The Joy of Not Working was my first introduction to the mastermind of author Ernie J. Zelinski and my life has never been the same since I found a copy of this book, a treasure chest of wisdom, insight and clever cartoons.

I've read this book at least 5 times straight through, flipped it open here and there, lent it to numerous friends, and have always cherished it as a prize in my collection, keeping it safe while other books in my collection walk the plank at my annual clutter-clearing yard sales.

A solid recommendation for sane people everywhere.
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Format: Paperback
The biggest liability this book has for many still-working American readers is the fact that Americans _must_ work in order to have health insurance. Canada has some sort of 'safety net' free healthcare, making the idea of getting out of the corporate rat race (Whoops! That's offensive to rats - read the book :-) much more of a potential reality for a very wide audience of Canadian readers.
However, as the author points out in an exercise in the book, it is wrong to just come up with one negative comment on an idea and leave it at that. The book's lack of acknowledgement that Americans must work to get health insurance is a substantial flaw, but does not negate the basic points: people are sacrificing leisure for work, in order to buy bigger houses, cars, etc. Or put in a familiar way: 'People buy things they can't afford, to impress people they don't like.' The author is justifiably incedulous to this M.O. that so much of society embraces without question. The author understandably speaks to this issue often, but unfortunately does get on a soapbox at times, making sometimes repetitive arguements.
Note, though, the above comments don't apply for retirees who have retired but find that they end up going back to work because they don't have a clue what to do with themselves. The portions of the book that speak to this issue are the ones that truly shine, most notably his 'thought map' for building a life of leisure, based on different categories of leisure activities.
I would definitely recommend this book to Americans at or near retirement age; still-working Americans might be better off talking this book out of the library. Maybe the book "Your Money or Your Life," recommended by other reviewers, addresses the health insurance issue for us poor Yanks, which, unfortunately, makes the idea of quitting one's dead-end job a non-starter for most Americans.
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