646.7: Kaplan, Michael. The Best Time to Do Everything: Expert Advice on How to Live Cooler, Smarter, Faster, Better. New York: Bloomsbury, 2005. 170 pp. ISBN 1-58234-487-6.
A hundred years ago, much like today, there were myriad books on improving oneself. Books could teach you to be healthier, smarter, handsomer. You name it, there was a book on it, including one on better bowling through self-hypnosis (written in 1961 by Jack Heise) and how to plump yourself up (How to Get Fat by Edward Smith, 1865). So, it stands to reason that there would be an entire Dewey section devoted to it. There’s no real place for it in the main classes, so it’s stuck in technology (600s), home and family management (640s), then sewing, clothing, management of personal and family life (646).
If you’ve ever wondered when the time was to buy a car, when to stage a political coup, or when to reveal a fetish to your lover, then Michael Kaplan is your man. In The Best Time to Do Everything, he interviews subject matter experts in a dizzying array of fields to find out when the perfect timing is for life’s interesting events. Some are more funny than informative, but they will get you thinking about the proper timing of life. Here are some of my favorites:
- When to haggle: When you’re absolutely willing to walk away.
- When to go to the doctor: First thing in the morning.
- When to retain information: College students, in the afternoon; older adult, in the morning.
- When to get married: The Saturday after Thanksgiving.
- When to be conservative: When liberals are in power.
- When to be liberal: When conservatives are in power.
It reads like a bathroom reader, but you can still power through large sections easily. It’s a short book, so I blew through it less than a day. And now, with these helpful suggestions, I’ll have even more time on my hands…