BTT – Manuals Ad Nauseum

Scenario: You’ve just bought some complicated gadget home . . . do you read the accompanying documentation? Or not?

Do you ever read manuals?

How-to books?

Self-help guides?

Anything at all?

Let me just begin by saying, I’m not very good at instructions.  Written instructions occasionally fare better than oral instructions, because I have a tendency not to listen to people unless I am actually engaged in a face-to-face conversation – or unless I’m really interested in what they have to say, which isn’t usually the case with instructions.  If the instructions are concise and to the point, they have a fair chance of being read, otherwise, they will be skimmed at best.  This explains my lack of interest in writing/grammar manuals, as well as in the types of manuals described in today’s prompt.  If I bring home a new gadget of some kind, I am far more likely to just play with it for a bit and try to make it work (or ask Brian to do so and then explain it to me) than to read through the manual.  I will only consult the documentation for specific features that I have not figured out, not for the whole thing.

Self-help books?  No way.  I can’t even stand the ‘inspirational’ books genre any longer, let alone self-help.  Part of the problem is that I don’t like the way they are written, the other part of the problem is that I’m not likely to take any of their advice anyway.

I will, occasionally, consult how-to books or cookbooks.  Even then, though, I will read about only the specific thing I want to know, unless it is a cookbook with some interesting things to say about food and eating healthily.

I’m starting to wonder if BTT isn’t really my thing.  I have been fairly bored by the three prompts I’ve attempted so far.  I’m sure it is terribly hard to come up with prompts every week, but if next week is also about manuals, I’m done.

4 comments to BTT – Manuals Ad Nauseum

  • I skipped last week and this week for that reason- it’s kind of a boring subject. Basically I pick and choose when I participate.

  • The BTT questions seemed to have just gotten blander and blander since I started doing them myself. But I always try to take an interesting spin on them. Last week I loved because I love talking about writing books and that was what my post focused on. And I also happen to really enjoy a lot of self help books so I focused on that part of the question for this week. I am interested in knowing what you don’t like about the way self help books are written. Feel free to drop me an email or whatever elaborating if you need to!

  • I pick and choose. If I don’t have anything interesting to say about the subject (like today’s) then I will not bother to answer, but I never just wash my hands of the whole thing.

  • I am so sorry I missed this one as I spent the best part of the past 12 years writing those manuals! I’m hoping that this week’s will be a great thing to blog about.