Riles Reads: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Let me introduce you to a book that, if you're familiar with my work, you may have seen in my "words cut from" sections: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I found this book in a free box in Chicago when I went to visit some really lovely friends in 2018. I'd heard of the book before, but I hadn't read it. I'd suspected it was "market-y" in a way that feels disingenuous to me, so I'd never gone out of my way to pick it up. but y'know, when you find something for free, why not just grab it? So I did, & I'm really happy that I did that!
(Note that the book links in this post are affiliate links to Bookshop.org which shares profits with independent bookstores and helps folks find things online while divesting from Amazon.)
How to Win Friends and Influence People is a self help book written in 1936 based on business coaching classes given by the author, Dale Carnegie. It's definitely a product of it's time, but the roots ring true. While there are definitely some parts that lean into some capitalistic ideals I disagree with, the overall message of cultivating a genuine interest in and care for your fellow humans & centering them in your interactions really clicks with me. It's also excellent fodder for poems because there are a lot of directives and clear phrase ("do this", "if you want to...") and the conversations around feelings and appreciation is exactly the kind of content I want to be working with.
This book is an interesting one in my cutting collection because it's the first book I started cutting from before I'd actually read it. This happened by accident -- I ended up on a trip to NYC the month after I'd picked this book up in Chicago, and I only had a couple books with me. I wanted to cut some new lines to make work while I had some downtime over my weekend, and I decided.. alright, let's just run with it. (I also didn't know what to expect from the book, and I didn't feel the need to commit to reading it before I started cutting 🤣)
It's been a fun experience, skimming along while cutting out pieces for poems. With a fiction story, I would definitely want to have read it all before cutting, but for this type of work, it's been working out just fine. You'll keep seeing this featured in my work for the next while -- I've got about half the book left to cut. Have you ever read this? If so, what did you think about it?
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