NY Times: Why You Should Read Books You Hate

I read this good piece in the NY Times today. The bottom line of the article is that reading something we don’t agree with or don’t find fascinating, provokes us to try to understand how we feel. It helps us take a position on our beliefs and figure out what we stand for. It got me thinking that it could be the case with anything in our lives really. While I like to think that I want to live by the motto… do what you love doing… the writer makes a good point. Doing something that you don’t like will often reveal a great deal about your nature and personality. I think as I get older, I value self-discovery more and more.

Gorgeous Montblanc Ringed Agenda

*Picture heavy post*

I was looking around the shops at our newly opened Outlet Village in Dubai and came across Montblanc. How could I not stop?

Besides some really good deals on their pens, this little beauty caught my eye in the case. Now, I’ve had some bad experience with the Montblanc Agenda (the cover started peeling off) but, when I had a look at this, I just fell in love. It’s leather so I hope there won’t be any peeling involved. Luckily the shop had a new piece and best of all I got it at a great price…. about USD 135.

It is the pocket size and fits my inserts perfectly. It’s been about two months that I’ve downsized to a pocket and I’m using Moleskine pocket size books punched to fit. The ring spacing is the same as the Filofax Pocket. There’s not much in terms of set up so I won’t be getting into that. I’d much rather show you some lovely pictures.

The Front… I don’t have any red binders. But this was a pocket size and didn’t feel like I couldn’t use it.

Montblanc 1

The front interior… 4 card slots and inside pocket… please forgive the clashing purple divider. I had set up my inserts for the Purple Malden.

Montblanc 2

View from the top… full length back pocket. As you can see the binder is still stiff and not broken in. With a week’s use it seems to be softer and I hope it will improve with time. I’ll give it a swipe of leather conditioner as well.

Montblanc 3

The inside back. It has a zipped storage, which I don’t really use. And plenty of space for a nice Montblanc pen (I couldn’t resist the sale on that either). The big fat pen holder is awesome because it really protects the pen even though my inserts are tight fit.

Montblanc 4

Finally, a close up of the leather and the poppers. There are two poppers but given my inserts, I doubt I will ever be able to use the inner one. But, I love a fat binder.

Montblanc 5



No excuses

I don’t know if I’m noticing this more often or if this has actually become a more prevalent. People seem to offer up excuses and explanations when none is often necessary.

Today for example, I realized that with summer coming in, workspace seemed to be very hot. As took five steps away from my desk, I realized that it was much cooler. So, I called the building guy and told him the situation. All he needed say is that the vents above you are closed and I will just open them up for you. Instead, he started offering up an explanation…You see we didn’t realize that it would suddenly become so hot… These vents were closed before winter… and so on. Once he finished, I asked him, can you fix it? He right away said, yes I’ll just open them up.

This is not uncommon. I have been noticing this more often, at work, in restaurants, in shops. I don’t think people necessarily need to offer up excuses. And sometimes, it’s so lame that it can get annoying. Quite often people don’t want an explanation but, a simple apology or a solution.  Quite often, what’s done is done. Let’s find a way to fix it and move on.