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Booking Through Thursday

Following up last week’s question about reading writing/grammar guides, this week, we’re expanding the question….
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?

Definitely!! It really annoys me when people discard the manual and then complain that they do not know how something works! My future husband is a prime example of this; whenever he has a new mobile phone he discards the manual and then gets frustrated that his phone does not do what it says on the box. I'm not sure if maybe I am just a bit of a control freak but I just think that reading the instructions nearly always ends up saving yourself time. I don't mean to be sexist but I do think it is mainly men who have a problem with manuals and instructions as they do not like to admit that they do not know the answer; this is evident in the way that they never want to ask for directions, preferring instead to drive round aimlessly for a while before giving in
and then sulking for the remainder of the journey.


Anonymous said…
I wish this book had been available when my father was alive. It wold have been invaluable and what's more he would have loved the joke.
BooksPlease said…
My problem is usually that I don't understand the instructions - maybe I should get the Idiot's Guide!
Marie said…
the way i look at it is, the instructions are there to help! sometimes they don't make sense but i can't imagine not referring to them if i need them. i've never understood just *refusing* to read them on principle. silly.
Anonymous said…
My husband travels a lot for his job so he has learned the value of maps and instructions! He's even more organized (anal!) than I am about printing out directions and putting them in folders for his trips.
Chris said…
You sound like my husband ;)
Barbara H. said…
Well, I have known women like that, so I don't think it is necessarily a sexist trait. I used to read manuals almost word for word, but they're so tedious!! Now I just skim through or keep it around for reference if I can't figure something out.
Judy Thomas said…
I'm with Barbara.. I don't read everything word for word, but when I first get something I read the "how to"s to get it set up... and then if I have a problem it's there for reference.

RE: men and directions. My hubby says instructions are there for when you've failed at putting it together.... but he always stops and asks for directions :-)
Megan said…
Instruction manuals used to be more informative but now they have 10 pages warning not to put this electronic device in water. And then one sentence that suggests at something you need help with and nothing more. If the product comes with customer service I just call them and ask. If they refer me to the manual (er, which has never happened) I usually know where it is,
Maree said…
My husband's the opposite. Anytime he gets a new toy, or gadget, the first thing he does is study the manual _ and then proceed to tell me all kinds of things I don't need to know about said gadget.
cj said…
Well, I'm a woman and I don't really read the manuals, either.

My answer's up:

John's comments said…
Now when John Wayne rode in to town to tackle the cattle barons in their fancy Eastern Style ranches you never see anyone struggling with a flat pack manual. Yet mail order catalogues took off in the 19th century so did the fancy furniture arrive all made up? We need an answer!!

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