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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be careful what you wish for...
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...
Published on Feb. 26 2002 by Justin Onstot

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Typical Self-Imp Concoction
Just a few words:
- a hefty feel-good factor is present as appropriate
- some of it is useful, although not particularly original
- a times gets carried away into new-ageish drivel
- a lot of logical omissions (basically there's a big skip in the description and you find yourself asking, well, how did you get here?
- mediocre writing,...
Published on Sept. 27 1999


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be careful what you wish for..., Feb. 26 2002
By 
This review is from: The Joy of Not Working (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe you are working too hard, Nov. 28 2005
By 
This review is from: The Joy of Not Working: 21st Century Edition-A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A very helpful book., March 17 2004
By 
This review is from: The Joy of Not Working: 21st Century Edition-A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting the Most Out of Your Life, Jan. 26 2004
By 
Sue K (Calgary, AB Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Joy of Not Working: 21st Century Edition-A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked (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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2.0 out of 5 stars OK, but Loses a Star in the Canadian-to-US Exchange Rate, Feb. 6 2004
This review is from: The Joy of Not Working: 21st Century Edition-A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Announcing "Dr. Leisure's" Prescription for the Good Life, Jan. 31 2004
By 
Stephen Pletko "Uncle Stevie" (London, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Joy of Not Working: 21st Century Edition-A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked (Paperback)
=====>
This practical, reliable, and many times humorous guide (first published in 1991) helps you to create a paradise away from the workplace whether you're retired, unemployed, overworked, or just want to alter your lifestyle for the better. But to attain this paradise requires knowing certain principles and these are found in this book.
What makes Canadian author Ernie Zelinski, who has an Engineering degree and M.B.A., an expert in this matter? He was fired from his job at age 29 for taking an unapproved extended vacation. For the next two years, he decided to make his purpose in life happiness without a job. This happiness was attained through leisure and he now calls himself "Doctor of Leisure."
So what will you find in this book? Zelinski explains, "I will share my thoughts about leisure along with a number of my experiences. To give a much broader perspective to leisure, I am not drawing only on my own experiences. A greater part of this book is the result of studying and listening to stories, experiences, and aspirations of other people...This book's format encompasses text, exercises, cartoons, diagrams, and quotations to appeal to the many learning styles that individuals have."
Another aspect of this book is the inclusion of letters from readers. They describe how this book helped them to have a more exciting and rewarding life.
This book is jam-packed with useful information. Here are just ten examples of that information:
(1) "Success in life's adventures doesn't come from having a huge advantage over others...the key is to acknowledge your own talents and use them."
(2) "Your ability to enjoy leisure time will be determined by how much you have been able to avoid being brainwashed by mainstream society."
(3) "This is the North American way: the majority view work with such respect that they boast how many hours a day they work...They have become martyrs, giving up the opportunity for self-actualization [through leisure] in return for the priviledge of slaving [in the workplace], which primarily benefits the company rather than themselves."
(4) "There is the common feeling that getting one's financial state in order will put the individual's other needs in order. [Studies have confirmed that] the opposite is frequently true."
(5) "A concept involving a career of leisure will go against many of your friends' or aquaintances' instilled values. Ignore any negative comments that they make...these comments come from mediocre or small minds."
(6) "If you want your life to be boring, then conform and be dull; if you want your life to be interesting and exciting, then be different."
(7) "One of life's most difficult processes is discovering what we really want as individuals...most of us don't know what we really want because we haven't taken the time to find out [since we're so busy working for money]. Societal standards have become more important than our own unique needs."
(8) "If your leisure repetoire doesn't include a good balance of passive and active activities, chances are you are not going to be very happy."
(9) "Happiness is a product of achieving goals, but not a goal in itself."
(10) "Leisure provides unlimited opportunities for growth and satisfaction."
Finally, after you read this book, I then recommend reading "Your Money or Your Life" by Dominguez and Robin. This book develops some of the ideas mentioned in Zelinski's book.
In conclusion, take "Dr. Leisure's" step-wise prescription for the good life. Step number one: read his fascinating book!!
<=====>
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4.0 out of 5 stars A 'Joy' to read....., Aug. 11 2002
By 
Amazon Customer (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Joy of Not Working (Paperback)
I originally saw this book in its Spanish incarnation, as "El placer de no trabajar", but read it eventually after my wife bought me a copy of the original English language version. Having just taken the plunge and exited corporate life, the content of the book proved both helpful and inspirational. It confirmed several of the tenets I already held dear and put into words some of the concepts that I had pondered, the best of these being the need for Structure, Purpose and Community.
The real beauty of this book is that it contains pearls of wisdom for everyone, be they working or not, young or old. It makes useful observations about the nature of happiness (an old chestnut) and the absolute danger of boredom. Although several of the ideas developed in the book are, in essence, common sense, the information is always presented in ways that are thought provoking, while a gentle humour pervades the text and prevents it from becoming stodgy or pretentious.
My 'meeting' with TJONW was fortuitous but I intend to keep the book and refer to it in the months and years ahead, as its message is timeless.........so you will just have to buy your own copy!.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book, Feb. 25 2002
This review is from: The Joy of Not Working (Paperback)
A message from France, written by a grateful French reader:
Be careful! This book is a ULO (an unidentified literary object)!It's completely different from all the other "advices books" that you may have read already.This one could really change your life... if you really want it of course.
"The joy of not working" ("L'art de ne pas travailler" for the French version, published by Les Editions d'Organisation in Paris) highlights a real problem of society : the overwhelming place of work in our lives, and its consequences. Ernie Zelinski calls into question the dogma of work and shows with a pertinent way how this dogma can move us away from our lives.
The advices he gives us are practical, often funny, and can help us to make a better use of our free time. So if you don't want anymore it's your boss who controls your life, or if you don't know how to keep busy during your free time, or if you want to take advantage of the pleasures of life, this book will bring you a precious help. Moreover, it's well written, there are many quotations, diagrams and drawings which make the reading very pleasant.
Last remark : if you prefer to have a boring and a laborious life, forget what I said! Don't buy this book : it's not made for you! Rather read : "My job? That's all for me! - or how to waste your life in 10 lessons".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly The Most Positive Book Ever Written on Retirement, Dec 26 2000
By 
George Fulmore (Concord, California USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Joy of Not Working (Paperback)
As an instructor in adult education on the subject of retirement, I have looked for books on the subject that cover the major areas of retirement in a positive vein. I think The Joy of Not Working is an absolute classic. I use it as the basis of my class, and I get nothing but positive feedback from those who buy it and read it. As a start, it is clear that retirement is not for everyone. Many people will hate it or not even consider it for various reasons. This book is not really meant for them. It is for the rest of us who are looking for reinforcement and encouragement in making the retirement decision. The author helps us through any thoughts of feeling guilty or fearing bordom in retirement. Then, he is off on a great section that provides very practical ways of filling our increased leisure time. His Leisure Tree chart is worth the price of admission alone, and this is followed by pages of detailed activities in case one has not come up with enough on his or her own. Additionally, there are sensible suggestions on finances, happiness and all kinds of other things that relate to getting on with the joy of retirement and leaving the workplace behind. I highly recommend The Joy of Not Working as THE retirement primer for those who want a positive outlook on life and one's future in a world that does not evolve around work. As I said in the begining, such a life will not appeal to all. But to those of us to which it does, this book will be prized on our bookshelf. Bravo Ernie Zelinski. I truly believe this book is a classic that will wear well with readers for decades to come.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Typical Self-Imp Concoction, Sept. 27 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Joy of Not Working (Paperback)
Just a few words:
- a hefty feel-good factor is present as appropriate
- some of it is useful, although not particularly original
- a times gets carried away into new-ageish drivel
- a lot of logical omissions (basically there's a big skip in the description and you find yourself asking, well, how did you get here?
- mediocre writing, frequently unclear and wordy
- some postulates are plainly ridiculous (due to the author's desire to steer clear from any controversy.) Example: people overwork because of work ethic, faulty upbringing, whatever, but it's always the people's fault, you see. Not that they can't afford med insurance or the kid's college w/o working extra, no that would be too damn politically controversial for this kind of wishy-washy book.
Overall, eh... I don't know. I guess it's no harm to read it, but I'm not particularly enthousiastic though. One has to admit that there is indeed a self-help book writing cabal, that people, no matter how rational, still keep on buying these books because, I guess, such is human nature that they endlessly look for help in that area. Thinking of it again, well, as a spiritual boost of temporary nature--this book may be worth its price. In terms of unversal socially redeemable value--it's not. I'd recommend getting it via your library first, or at least, peruse in a store. On the other hand, amazon has a great return policy <g>...
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