read: type, maps, stamp, mind

The Elements of Typographic Style by Bringhurst, Robert
Wow. I want to own this book. I learned so many things I wish I knew years ago. If you are even remotely interested in tweaking your layout and knowing why things go together in some ways and not in others, read this book!

Stop Stealing Sheep by Spiekermann, Erik
Eh. Yuck. It’s an Adobe-published book (btw did you hear PDF is going open?), which doesn’t necessarily make it bad but I thought the layout was HORRID. Plus I didn’t learn anything. Perhaps if I had read it before Bringhurst’s I’d have a different opinion, but yuck.

Idea Mapping: How to Access Your Hidden Brain Power, Learn Faster, Remember More, and Achieve Success in Business by Nast, Jamie
Ms Nast and I were introduced to mind maps at about the same time. Her introduction was much more pleasant than mine. I was in 7th grade and the teacher must have just been introduced to them and she preached mind maps and well, it’s not the way to teach a class of 7th graders. Thus, I resisted mind maps for years. I resisted using any symbols in my notes (as the ones she chose didn’t make sense and she wanted us to symbol everything, which i thought and still think is pointless) until I learned more of the greek alphabet and more science and maths. Certain symbols just made sense, and even today, if writing by hand I need to think if it is appropriate to write them or not. Anyway, I believe that Ms Nast has provided a very strong, solid, and rational introduction mind mapping. I’m not sure on using software, I didn’t try any and I’m not sure I will in the near future. I’m not sure. I do disagree on one approach however. The need for this big massive blob of a map. I make mini maps which shoot off from a big “overall” monster. He has lots of little children (who are more friendly, in my opinion). I mix in “standard notes” or outlines. This allows for me to rapidly see the big picture. It works for me. In any case, I think it is a worthwhile book to get your hands on this book, whether you need an introduction or a refresher. I think it would have been a very helpful text for me those many years ago and probably would have given me a much more positive feeling to the process. I think the biggest issue for jr high and high school students (or at least in my high school) was that in every class each teacher insisted on their students taking notes and organizing their files *the teacher’s way* which of course, is the right one. And if you don’t follow their methodology, you fail. Or at least that was my experience. I really hope it’s better now. *sigh*

The Divided Mind : The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders by Sarno, John E
I believe this one quote sums it up quite well:

I diagnose this as a physician; I treat it as a teacher. Patients must be educated and inspired. I tell them, “You have a secret weapon—your brain. It may be the instrument of your physical symptoms, but it’s also the means by which those symptoms can be abolished.”
~ John E Sarno, MD (p 183)

Well, I knew my brain was an awesome and amazing organ that I didn’t give enough credit. ;)

Reader interactions

One Reply to “read: type, maps, stamp, mind”

  1. Penny,

    I agree with you that you don’t need a big massive blob! On the other hand, some people find it beneficial. (Therefore the chapter on “Breaking All the Rules”). I also know that many people prefer to hand-draw their maps — others won’t do anything that involves drawing.

    But just so that that I didn’t come across like one of your teachers and make people feel they needed to do it “My Way”, this book provides many options so that each individual finds what works for them. You’ve done a splendid job in fighting through that 7th grade paradigm. Congratulations!


Comments are closed.