Reincarnating the 7-Day Weekend

So sorry if I appeared to have gone missing. I have not but so many things have gotten in the way of proper blogging so at times, I get 101 ideas but have not had the time to blog.
I’ve been reading lots – in fact, one of those newly cultivated habits of mine is to wake up and spend about 30 minutes reading. I was peeved that I did not spend enough time reading last year although I bought lots of non-fiction books. My favourite spot is the balcony which although cramped and small like most apartment balconies are, has its cosy characteristics.
Speaking of books, I was at the Georgetown library two days ago. Yes, they open throughout the weekend but close on Mondays and Tuesdays.
While I dislike about this library is that the aisles are too narrow. They’re about 1 foot apart. No, I am not joking. Either they want slim readers or they want to prevent people loitering among the aisles. But again, what’s wrong with loitering among the shelves in a library? Isn’t that supposed to be GOOD?
For RM2 which gets you a membership card, you can borrow any 2 books for 2 weeks. Which is really a good deal considering the price of novels in bookstores. The good part is that you can also borrow books from the Seberang Perai Library if you want using the same card. But what is equally annoying is this: the books are tattered and some titles are so old you felt like even your grandaunt would have read them!
It seems like I do have a bone to pick with the state of libraries in Penang. The books and magazines are really in no condition to be read but bookworms cannot be choosy sometimes. Any donkey-eared novel is still worth a read.
Anyway, I borrowed 2 books which I am reading greedily now. One is called “Reincarnation: The Boy Lama” while the other is Ricardo Semler’s The Seven-Day Weekend. Both are non-fiction. Both are quite intriguing reads.
Mackenzie’s book is about Lama Yeshe, a Tibetan monk she had met in the Kopan Monastery in Nepal. Three years after his death at the age of 49, he is reincarnated as a Spanish boy. The book details not only her meeting again with the Lama, albeit in another form but her study into Mahayana Buddhism and her understanding of herself. What made this an engaging read is her beliefs about reincarnation because every bone in her stoic, logical journalist body is incredulous. How is it possible that the Tibetan Lama is reborn in the western world as a chubby-faced Spanish boy? Perhaps more than an insight into the Lama’s life and work, it is a book about Vickie herself as she searches for the ultimately clichéd yet important ‘meaning of life’.
Now the other book by Ricardo Semler is also a flavourful pot of thought-provoking ideas. Semler is someone any good Business or Management graduate would be aghast at. His unorthodox ideas about managing a company, treating staff, understanding staff and understanding the concept of “work” seems chaotic to outsiders but his hodge-podge of businesses make millions each year.
What makes his book utterly fascinating is how he throws mainstream or predominant thinking into the wild (and hope they never make their way home). His companies have little hierarchy; in fact, I particularly liked the idea where new hires are approved and hired not by the HR department (he doesn’t even have a HR department) but by the group which will be working with the new hire! How weird!
At Semco (that’s his company), anyone can waltz in and out of the office and work when they please, as they please. They can work at home if they want. They can work while playing golf. Or they don’t want to work and prefer to watch a tennis match, they could do that too. The CEOs of his companies do not have secretaries, offices of their own, and certainly do not own any preferred parking bay. They work where they can find a space.
Semler says he asks why three times. The whys, he declares, uncovers more than just reasons. The whys make people uncomfortable because they will uncover tasks and practices which are probably not needed in the first place. Probably a load of time-wasters and probably a load of traditional rules which have no impact if they weren’t followed one bit.
I am only at page 50 of Semler’s book but I really love his brainy insights about work, life and the tenuous word called balance. He makes me question my assumptions about work. About why we work.
Anyway, this is basically what I’ve been doing. Reading.
Now what books have you been enjoying too?

2 thoughts on “Reincarnating the 7-Day Weekend”

  1. I actually have thought why don’t fellow readers band together and create their own library. Type up a list of books that you own, stick on your blog and swap with your friends. If you are curious about a title, it’s easy enough to ‘amazon’ it to get the synopsis. It was always an idea of mine – it just needs a network – and a little bit of typing to get started!
    Then you know that the books lying on your shelves are put to good use and that they will be enjoyed by other ‘bookies’ whilst you treat their book with the appropriate care and respect they deserve. (I always feel bad about leaving my books on the bookshelf – they want to be read constantly!)

  2. Dear D: I know some very kiasu book owners. They DO NOT loan their books out. They wrap their books immediately when they get home. Now with these people how to get them to loan books out? Or the irresponsible book borrowers. I once loaned a book out and it came back, warped and scribbled! There’s no civil reading society out there la. I don’t mind loaning my books to you but do you even like what I like except Pratchett of course. Hey, have you read THUD? I got it if you want to borrow.


Leave a Comment