If you read my blog regularly you must have seen I buy, read and review books. Last week I was at a book exhibition generally lounging. Two incidents at the exhibition were amusing.
One lady (well I am terrible at guessing age) wanted to buy books on ‘Dealing in the share market’ – clearly a first time investor. She was telling the attendant that she had opened a ‘E-broking’ account, she watched ticker channels, and wanted to improve her trading by reading books. Noble thought. It is almost like me saying “I want my daughter to play cricket so I make her watch IPL (Indian Premier League) – no coach, no kit, no practice sessions…and suddenly one day she will be the captain of the Indian cricket team”. Life may not be so simple.
Another was a kid (perhaps 8 years old) that she wanted a ‘encyclopedia’. The father said “We have Internet connection at home – all these things you will find on Google”. To say the least I was shocked. An encyclopedia is perhaps the best book my daughter has. She can spend 3-4 hours leafing through it. She saw the whole process of a foetus being 2 weeks old to end of pregnancy, she has seen the pictures of the milky way, she can match country and flags of at least 20 countries, she learnt currencies, she knows how plants make their food….all this is available on google, and I too have a net connection at home. Books and the internet feed each other. One cannot take the place of the other. I read Ken Fisher’s books – I read his column in Forbes on the net. Is Ken Fisher’s column a substitute for his books? No way. Aw parents encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlas, globe – are a necessary investment – each costs less than one time eating out. Do not confuse expenses with investments. Do not confuse price with value. Do not crib about an investment – if you do not know the cost of ‘not making’ that investment.
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