Random Book Purchase: The Know-It-All by A. J. Jacobs

Just a quick update on my uncontrollable book buying habits – I was walking around a bookstore looking at the Politics section when I came across a book with a rather strange title. I picked it up, read the back bllurb and a couple of pages, and I was hooked. The book is The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by J. A. Abrams, and it talks about how this chap, who is the editor of the Esquire magazine, realizes that he knows more about popular culture than hard facts – facts he used to know while studying. To cure himself, he subjects himself to a regiment of reading the ultimate tome of human knowledge – the Encyclopedia Britannica.
The result is this book, and it is hilarious. I usually don’t buy books on a whim, but this one looked very interesting.


  1. i have to get this!! thanks for the recommendation

  2. You’re more than welcome, Sharon. Loved your articles in Quill, btw. 🙂
    Actually, I clocked in a couple of chapters accidentally, and it was a funny funny read. Not a bad return for the highly risky business of random book purchasing.

  3. i’m a great believer in random book-buying. sometimes exactly the right book leaps into your hands when you need it.

  4. Ah, I’m exactly the opposite. I approach my book-buying with the compulsiveness of a tiger hunting its prey – cold and calculated. Unfortunately, this tiger has read heck of a lot lists and reviews, so even a seemingly harmless book trip will result in purchases of books already in my To Be Purchased (TBP) list.
    My random book buying experiences have been rather mixed, I’m afraid. I’ve bought my share of duds, and they are too expensive to be used as doorstoppers. 🙁

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