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on December 26, 2000
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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on September 27, 1999
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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on September 12, 1999
I read a book each week. Most are about retirement planning or how to become financially independent.
Whilst a lot of the material in this book is not new, it is nevertheless a book that I find that I am having second and third looks at quite a lot of pages from this book.
What many of us find difficulty with after 30 years of work is knowing what it is outside work that makes us happy. There are some very good sections in this book that help identify for you what it is you deep down really like doing. It seems silly that we need a book to help us with knowing that but a lifetime of the discipline of work does take away our abilities to dream, to imagine another world away from work and more importantly to survive after work is taken away from us either by retirement or retrenchment.
The section on the Leisure Tree hit a soft spot with me. This is a device to identify what leisure activities will give us the most pleasure.
This is a terrific book and a bargain buy at the price. If you have read Your money or your life, The Millionaire Next Door, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Live Rich, Die Broke, you should read this book as well. It will help fill in some gaps the others leave.
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on November 8, 2001
It was about 5 yrs ago that I first read "The Joy of Not Working". I had never read anything like it. I couldn't put it down. Although I had "only" been in my career for about 20 yrs, I was losing my passion. This book was the catalyst that got me reading other books, such as "Your Money or Your Life", and started me on the path to "retiring" at 50, which I will be doing at the end of this year.
I would definitely agree with those reviewers who called this book a classic. What is missing in some of the details of getting from here to there (see "Your Money or Your Life"), is MORE than made up for in making one think about work and leisure, in a general and creative way. I too have recommended this book to many friends, at least two of whom "retired" before 50, partly as a result of reading it.
I absolutely recommend this book to anyone interested in expanding their thinking on these topics.
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on December 8, 2000
I really enjoyed this book and Ernie just spoke to my heart. The Joy of Not Working is really not the right title for this piece of artwork. Im telling you straight up....Ernie speaks to you in a simple way that gets you to think about the other things that are most important in your life. I found myself "talking shop" all the time and not setting the right priorites with my family. You need to do the things in life YOU WANT TO DO! Why should a corporation and your boss run you everyday. I have purchased this book for many people and my new business partner and myself refer to this book as the "leisure book of your life." Do yourself a favor and purchase this book. The book is well written and its quite humorous at times. Ernie should team up with the author of the Dilbert Principle and go big time with this masterpiece. I have read hundreds of books on business, self help, and motivation......Ernie's book is my favorite of all time.
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on January 22, 2001
I recieved this book two hours before I went to a crew meeting for the restaurant I had just taken a job at. I looked through it for about 15 minutes, which was enough. Then I took a walk in a quiet forest to think about what I had learned from Ernie. I had a great time at that meeting. Weekends? You want me to work weekends? I'm only working two days a week, if you don't like it than find someone else. And I will be busy hiking on the weekends, and spending time doing other things I enjoy much more than working. Since then they have pushed me to work more hours, and thank you Ernie for this book, if I hadn't have read it I would have let them walk all over me, like they do everyone else. I just wish that I had read this book about 15 years ago. My life would have been much better.
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on December 11, 2000
Well writen and honest, this book has really changed my life. I am 36 years old and have spent 10 years working my way up the corporate ladder only to find that what I thought I was working for was often the last priority to me, my family and myself. This book has helped me immensely to transition from "company man" to self employment. I believe this book is not about being a bum, but being truely HAPPY in what you do and learning to enjoy life to the fullest! I have made this book a manual for my life, constantly re-reading it and thinking about it. I have purchased this book for 5 friends and family members so far and everyone has loved it. If you are ready to start enjoying life...get this book and live it! Excellent book Mr. Zelinski!
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on August 24, 2010
A friend sent me this book that coincided with the day I quit my very, very stressful job. After I finished sleeping for a month, I picked up the book and was amazed! I had felt guilty and depressed about quitting my high powered but stressful job...but Ernie Zelenski gave me all the right reasons why I did the right thing! I still have my dog eared copy of The Joy of Not Working and I refer to it whenever I think of leaving my low stress, perfect fit job for something higher paying. The job I have now fits my life perfectly as a single mom of a school aged child and I owe it to Ernie Zelenski for being able to search for it, recognize it and keep it. How about an updated version Ernie?? I would buy that too! ~ Happy in Rural Nova Scotia
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on June 29, 2000
This book deals with getting the most out of life. He does not proclaim to have all the answers but cuts a very broad swath. He deals with working too much, not developing your own interests, and the difficulty of your work being "who you are". I was 23 when I read this book, looking at retireing at 35. I was also reading many books on retireing early and living frugaly. I worked 100-110 hours a week and had no plans after retirement. I do now. I am happier than I ever was before. I no longer identify who i am with what I do. This is one of my favorite books. I have sent copies to all of my relatives and a few other people as well. If you buy it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. The quotes alone are worth the purchase!
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on January 3, 2002
Mr. Zelinski's suberb little book should be on everyone's reading list! I particularly enjoyed the delightful way he enlightens and informs with cartoons, exercises, thought-provoking questions, puzzles and quotes. This is a book that can help anyone not working for any reason get over, around, under and through obstacles that stand in the way of joyful, productive living, whether one is working or not. And don't forget the fun! With energy and enthusiasm, he brings focus to leisure and its positive effect on one's life. Even if you're working, reading this can be beneficial. A realistic guidebook on Living (with a capital L), punctuated with humor and common sense. Definitely one to read and reread!
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