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36 Reviews
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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

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not worth the price
This book is interesting and had some very good points, but not worth the price I paid. It is more philosophically orientied than practically - bad. This book is far cry from How to Survive Without a Salary by Charles Long or Living Well on Practically Nothing.
Read these books first.
Published on March 11 2004 by Robert R.


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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, June 16 2004
By 
grumpydan (Andover, NJ United States) - 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 picked up this book just because I liked the title. It wasn't what I thought it would be about, but I was pleasantly surprised when I read it. I was one of those people that were striving to be rich, a workaholic, to have it all, but all it got me was stress, a divorce and no life or hobbies. Although, prior to buying this book, I was gearing myself to a simpler life, the ideas and suggestions in this book brought it all home. I am too young to retire, but I now am taking pleasure in my life, spending more time with my daughter and having resumed hobbies I gave up long ago. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to enjoy life!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very helpful book., March 17 2004
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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 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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5.0 out of 5 stars You Go Ernie!!, March 9 2004
This review is from: The Joy of Not Working: 21st Century Edition-A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked (Paperback)
I lost my job awhile back when my company relocated. While perusing the Want Ads one Sunday, I noticed an interesting review of this book in the newspaper books section. Bought it a few days later while at Borders.
This book is a real gem, full of helpful and inspiring stories, anticdotes and witticisms that encourage, humor and provoke. I recommend this book not only for those who are out of work due to: unemployment, retirement or other circumstances, but anyone else who truly questions what the day to day business of living is all about.
Truly an enjoyable and inspiring read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Living every moment of your life, Feb. 7 2004
By 
Nuria (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec 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)
If your feeling over-worked, under-worked, bored, unsure, tired, depressed- whatever your feeling, Ernie Zelinski just might be able to get you to take a step back. This book is a wake up call to the way our society has been valuing work.
The Joy of Not Working is NOT about being a bum, it's about being your best if that's not what you're doing RIGHT NOW.
It's about living every moment of your life, NOT about saving up for someday when you plan to...
I have described what it is NOT, and now you can go find out what it IS. I wish you all the best.
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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)
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Stuff of Life, April 15 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Joy of Not Working (Paperback)
Reading "The Joy of Not Working" is dangerous! It leads you to reevaluate your goals, your beliefs, your work ethic and even the reason you get up out of bed every morning. It's not just a guide for how to be unemployed or retired - it is a guide for life that helps you figure out what you really want and then teaches you how to enjoy it. It's the most valuable book I've read in a long time and I know I will continue to read it over and over!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of advice and positive thoughts, March 28 2003
By 
isabelle (Le Mans, France) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Joy of Not Working (Paperback)
I found this book without looking for it nor without having heard about it before. And it was a good surprise!:-) I found many good advice in it, many ways to see life and consider people differently. Besides, I really enjoyed Ernie Zelinski's humour. The book did not bring total changes in my life but it was useful reading about that subject. It certainly helped me to do some things when I was reading it. I suggested it to several of my friends.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book changed my life!, Jan. 8 2003
By 
Stog (Dublin, OH United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Joy of Not Working (Paperback)
Ernie Zelinksi's book "The Joy of Not Working" has changed my life. In today's society, it is easy to fall into the workaholic trap that has snared so many lives. Ernie's book helps you to see what may be lacking in your leisure time - things that make leisure time fun again. I would recommend this book to anyone who is just starting their career, anyone who is looking for more out of life, or anyone who is approaching retirement.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A 'Joy' to read....., Aug. 11 2002
By 
Graham (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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