"Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so." -- Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

Unrelated photo of one of my cute kids.
I recently read something in an email from FlyLady that I've been thinking a lot about. She said, basically, that it's better to pick one or two books on a subject and read them many times, than to read as many different books as you can.

The more I think about it, the more this makes sense. For one thing, unless you have a very special memory, you cannot possibly remember the entire contents of a book after only one reading. Repetition of information is what helps us to remember.

And, on any topic, there are two possibilities to the books available. The first possibility is that they all contain, more or less, the same information. In that case, you only need one or two. Anything more would be redundant.

The second possibility is that there are many books with widely varied philosophies, advice, and information. In this case, the more you read, the more you confuse yourself!

Parenting books are a perfect example of this. There are countless books, reflecting countless approaches. You can find everything from age-old advice to the latest fads. Most of them manage to sound like the right idea, so you can begin to wonder which is right and/or how to implement all of them.

I have at least a dozen (if not two dozen) parenting books on my shelves. I think I've just decided, right now, that I'm going to stick with the two books that I trust the most--aside from the Bible--and get rid of all the rest.

For me, it will be Parenting with Love & Logic and Grace-Based Parenting. They are great books and very complementary.

The challenge will be in getting rid of the ones I haven't read yet. I tend to hang on to books the way some people hang onto their "skinny jeans". I can look at a book and know that I almost certainly will not read it, but I still want to keep it on the shelf. Just in case.

Bah! Humbug! Away with you, Dust-Collecting Books!

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