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Rules of Thumb
Tom Parker
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Rules of Thumb

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  99 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
A mix of folk wisdom, common sense, shared experience, the advice of experts, and the kind of group think that's made websites like Wikipedia so vital, " Rules of Thumb" is the impulsive compendium of 1,000 general principles that apply to every facet of life. Collected by Tom Parker for over 25 years, these are rules that are practical, quirky, and as entertaining to read ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published November 14th 1983 by Mariner Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Jen Johnson
Jun 06, 2010 Jen Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really fun and hopefully informative read for me. I already subscribe to this blog, so when I stumbled on the book I figured it would be good. Basically it's lots of 'rules' submitted by readers of the blog (apparently they do go through an approval process, so the odds of them being flat out wrong are largely reduced) and by an advisory panel from the site itself. Topics were very wide ranging, which I think is good bc there's info for everyone and you can kind of skip around without ...more
Nov 16, 2014 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy books like this. In fact, when I was a child I kept my own notebook that I'd fill with trivia I found interesting, things like, "Bees have hair on their eyes."

Some of these rules of thumb are immediately practical, many are fascinating but useless (to me), and the remainder are a little funny. I picked up this book at my local thrift store and it was a great read for the price I paid (10 cents), but I'm sure visiting the Rules of Thumb blog would give a similar experience.
Some immediately useful examples:

Clear Ideas;
"If your data has fewer than twenty pieces of information, a graphic presentation is not needed."
- Edward R. Tufte

To Keep A Home Purrfectly Comfortable:
"If cats aren't sleeping on the radiators, turn down the heat."
- Rob Shapiro

Christmas Tree Rule Of Three:
To fins out how many old fashioned lights your Christmas tree needs, multiply the tree height time the tree width times three."
-Michael Spencer, lawyer.

Sep 08, 2011 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up on a whim at a Borders closing and I am totally glad I did. Some of the rules are just common sense, but others are so obvious that it's really a wonder I never thought of them before. Super Funny!!
Aug 20, 2012 MisterFweem rated it it was ok
This is the kind of book you see on hack writers' shelves, well thumbed, when their work is full of characters who spout trivial nonsense and little else. It's an okay book, not one to read in one sitting as the "rules" and folk wisdom get tedious in big gulps. I've read worse.
Jun 04, 2010 Brittany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There were quite a few rules that I don't think I would ever need in my life time. Although there were quite a few rules that I highlighted as being useful. It was a fun pocket-size book to carry in my purse and a good read when I was waiting in lines or in waiting rooms.
Mantvydas Juozapavicius
Nice collection of rules for life. Mostly for residents of the USA, but non-resintents will also find useful advises.
Valley Cottage Library
SUMMER READING REVIEW: "Fun book filled with facts, guestimates, shortcuts and a few shot in the dark anecdotes." -Deborah Cracovia
Ben B
Feb 09, 2011 Ben B rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
A remarkably fun read. If you have a broad interest in ... well, just knowing stuff, this book is or you.
Dustin Tatman
The problem with this book is that when you run into a rule of thumb that you know doesn't work, it kind of taints all of the others that once seemed like good advice.
Aug 11, 2012 Cat. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, trivia
Oh, fun, a sound-bite book of lists! Some interesting factoids here, some funny stuff, and some stuff I can actually use. This was a Christmas gift.
A Rae Crownover
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Paul Berg
Jan 23, 2011 Paul Berg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, quick read. It's got a useful index. I'll keep my copy as a reference.
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Tom Parker is an author and illustrator who lives in Ithaca, N.Y., and works for Cornell University. He has written and illustrated Rules of Thumb volumes 1 and 2, In One Day, Never Trust a Calm Dog, and Le Livre du Bon Sens, a French translation which even he can't understand. Trained as a biologist (Earlham College) Parker spent fifteen years as the cover editor and a contributing writer for Ame ...more
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