Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rules for Aging: Resist Normal Impulses, Live Longer, Attain Perfection” as Want to Read:
Rules for Aging: Resist Normal Impulses, Live Longer, Attain Perfection
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Rules for Aging: Resist Normal Impulses, Live Longer, Attain Perfection

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  272 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Acclaimed and beloved prize-winning essayist Roger Rosenblatt has commented on most of the trends and events of our time. His columns in Time magazine and his commentaries on PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer have made him a household word and a trusted friend of millions. Now, at the dawn of a new millennium, Rosenblatt offers the American people a survival manual-fifty-four ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published October 18th 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rules for Aging, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rules for Aging

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 16, 2013 Bruce rated it it was ok
I recently watched an interview of Roger Rosenblatt promoting his most recent book, after which I checked with our public library to see whether the book was available. It was not, so instead I pickup up his older book published in 2000, Rules for Aging. I read it last evening.

Apparently Rosenblatt wrote a series of short newspaper columns years ago and was encouraged by his editor to collect and expand those columns into book form. Probably not a good idea. Rosenblatt can be an amusing writer,
Laura Leaney
Aug 18, 2015 Laura Leaney rated it liked it
I got this book from a thrift store, mostly because I love the subtitle "resist normal impulses" and because I love the way Rosenblatt writes. Each sentence feels good, like a beautifully turned table leg. The writing in his book, Unless It Moves the Human Heart, is also stylish, a real treat to read if you admire writing at the sentence level.

This is a charming book. It's funny (despite his admonition in Rule 14 to resist the use of wit) and lightly ironic. I'd be hard-pressed to take his rule
Betsy Ashton
On first blush, Rosenblatt's slim advice volume reads like a day-at-a-glance calendar. It is. And it isn't. If this were a calendar, it would have 58 days. If you read this at your office, you'd annoy your co-workers with your laugh-out-loud response to many of his aphorisms. You'd groan at others, because they are too close to your truth.

Let me give you a sample of how Rosenblatt writes. Most of his 58 entries are a few lines or a page long. Other stretch to three whole pages.

8. If something i
Jan 23, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
Breezed through this while recovering from an injury. Wit and wisdom, and some downright common sense, too. Like most good advice, you'll hear it and then forget it when you need it. But if you hear it enough, maybe it will stick. After all, if you throw enough mud at a wall, some of it will stick.

Some of this stuff I've learned the hard way, some came with great ease. Almost all are good lessons, and similar to many of the sayings my grandmother had, though hers, being in Yiddish, were a tad mo
Apr 29, 2015 Dawn rated it really liked it
My favorite is #2. "Nobody is thinking about you. Yes, I know, you are certain that your friends are becoming your enemies; that your grocer, garbageman, clergyman, sister-in-law, and your dog are all of the opinion that you have put on weight, that you have lost your touch, that you have lost your mind; furthermore, you are convinced that everyone spends two-thirds of every day commenting on your disintegration, denigrating your work, plotting your assassination. I promise you: Nobody is thinki ...more
Dec 29, 2016 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
a fun and funny read.
Jul 09, 2009 Paula rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autographed
One of the best examples of Rosenblatt's satirical work I've read yet. (Then again, the feeling of poignancy I'm getting may be from just recently having another birthday.)

The premise of the book is to give "advice" to people in order to age in the best ways possible. Although the first rule sets up the ironic tone throughout the book like the first line in Pride and Prejudice does, the rest of the rules that follow aren't all that bad for a person to follow. The majority of them concern ignori
Jun 13, 2015 Herlinda rated it liked it
A quick and entertaining read, I was going to report a light read, but while I didn't agree with most of this book,there was a profound moment for me in reading #9. I had always just asked the simple question of, "How's that working for you?", in response to my friends and family asking my opinion as to why if they are such godly people are they still and always having problems in life. I finally found an explanation that made sense to me in #9! God may just be tired of being misrepresented! Thi ...more
Jul 12, 2013 Katie rated it liked it
Wow - should have been a pamphlet and not a book (I love how this was actually one of the "rules"... never listen to anyone who tells you "that should be a book" - but really, he should have listened to himself). I read the whole thing over breakfast and my lunch break yesterday. Seriously, some pages had like one sentence on them.

Having said that, it was amusing. There were witty parts, and parts that were more shrewd than they seemed upon further reflection. Some of the "rules" were more silly
Kimberly Ann
Jan 15, 2016 Kimberly Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adages
Rule Number:

1. "It Doesn't Matter"

2. "Nobody is Thinking About You" sad, but true!

3. "Ignore Your Enemy or Kill Him"

10. "Swine Rules" " a. A Swine is Not a Swan....."

17. "Everyone's Work is Magnificent"

27. "Just Because the Person Who Criticizes You is an Idiot, Doesn't Make Him Wrong" Yeah, that's the ticket!

37. "The Waitress is Not Waiting for You"

41. "Never Work for Anyone More Insecure Than Yourself'

52. "Live in the Past, But Don't Remember Too Much"

Much of this work is humorous, but it's no
Jan 16, 2011 David rated it it was ok
breezy, short book expressing various tidbits of wisdom (never do it for the in the past but don't remember too much.....let bad enough alone). Occasionally the anecdote or elaboration was kind of funny, but for the most part it just slid by without leaving much of an impression. Started as an article for Modern Maturity and probably could have been left as such. Inoffensive stocking stuffer material, but I wouldn't say it's must reading. Perhaps I should have read them a couple a ...more
Jay Beasley
Aug 12, 2012 Jay Beasley rated it it was amazing
just buy this book for yourself already.

"Whatever you think matters-doesn't. Follow this rule, and it will add decades to your life. It does not matter if you are late, or early; if you are here, or you are there; if you said it, or did not say it; if you were clever, or if you were stupid; if you are having a bad hair day, or a no hair day; if your boss looks at you cockeyed; if your girlfriend or boyfriend looks at you cockeyed; if YOU are cockeyed; if you don't get that promotion, or prize, o
Jan 15, 2016 Mrklingon rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Good tips if you're planning on getting older.

Since that is the aspiration of most folks, they'll probably find some good advice here. Rosenblatt dispenses pithy points and prods on the path to aging wisely. Whenever your take yourself too seriously, just remember rules 1 and 2 - "It doesn't matter." and "Nobody is thinking about you."
Sep 24, 2009 Anne rated it liked it
58 Rules on how to age well from award winning essayist and journalist, Roger Rosenblatt. Written in essential curmudgeon, very few of the rules are as funny and insightful as the celebrity blurbs suggest. However, there are a few gems to be found. Why my spouse spent $29 on this slim, little volume, I'll never know.
Feb 25, 2011 Gloria rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I like Roger Rosenblatt, but this struck me as just a cute little book you might keep in the bathroom reading basket. Short little humorous essays, but some of the humor seemed to reflect a different era and was a bit male-oriented (just wasn't that funny). As smart as he is, I am just not sure why this book was written.
May 20, 2008 Ellen rated it liked it
A clever book that is often funny. Rosenblatt is very tongue-in-cheek, so you cannot take these rules at face value. Some of them hold great truth while others just seem silly. I think he had a lot of fun putting together this book. He disproves his Rule #25; "That could be a book." Because that can be a book and is. He admits to this freely.
Mar 11, 2015 William rated it liked it
I found this little book amusing but not very profound. I was relieved that many of his adages were short and to the point, thus allowing me to embellish them with my own thoughts. There are a few pearls among many pebbles. You won't come away with a new philosophy of life but you might take life less seriously which is what the author most likely wanted.
Dec 01, 2014 Peggy rated it it was ok
It might be worth more than 2 stars but it's not a serious book and I don't want to give it too much credit.
This book is like Life's Little Instruction Book; although it's cute, it is not as good.

My favorites:
#16 - worm farmer
#28 - cocktail party
#57 - the game you play away from the ball; judge people not in crisis but in regular life.
Sean Goh
Nov 10, 2013 Sean Goh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It doesn't matter.

It's not about you.

The game is played away from the ball - non-crisis moments are where people spend most of their time
Pay attention to such moments.

Wit is usually used to put others down, refrain.
Apr 28, 2014 Deborah rated it liked it
A quick, humorous read. In a subsequent book, Making Toast, the author instructs readers to ignore Rule 2 which says nobody is thinking about you. After his daughter died unexpectedly, he and his family discovered that just isn't true.
Clark Hallman
Sep 06, 2012 Clark Hallman rated it liked it
Rules for Aging is short book that includes both humorous and useful rules for coping with stresses, including relationships and insecurities. Nobody is thinking about you. They are thinking about themselves - just like you.
Feb 02, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, advice
I am aging and well within the last decades. Don't know if I have one or three decades left or if I can remember rules anymore or stick with my own rules I plan however to start breaking all rules when doctors are keeping me alive when I can no longer read.

Annette Reynolds
Jun 02, 2014 Annette Reynolds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-these
Very funny and rather wise little book about what matters in life and what really doesn't. I found myself paging back to various "rules," rereading them and grinning yet again, and trying to get them stuck in my head so that I remember what's important in this world (and who, and what, isn't).
Jun 09, 2014 Sandy rated it liked it
It was OK but I could have spent the time on something else I liked better.
Dec 27, 2011 Maggie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, humor
short. sweet. helpful advice.
Nov 03, 2008 Snow added it
I plan to reshape my life so that i may live by them.I only wish i could start all over again.
Mari Jessup
Dec 09, 2015 Mari Jessup rated it really liked it
Entertaining, interesting and on the whole a good read. Easy, articulate and biting in it's honesty and straight to the point message.
Sep 01, 2015 John rated it liked it
One thing I like about this book is that the author seems to have come up with these rules having spent his life breaking them. He is humorous, thoughtful, and very human.
Maggie Millus
Nov 08, 2014 Maggie Millus rated it it was amazing
Cynical, funny... A modern day version of Machiavelli's "The Prince". Wish I had read this when I was younger.
Apr 03, 2013 Priscilla rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-reads
witty read!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Vogue® Knitting Stitchionary Volume Three: Color Knitting: The Ultimate Stitch Dictionary from the Editors of Vogue® Knitting Magazine
  • Good Old Boy
  • The Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age
  • In The Spirit of Happiness
  • Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now
  • Joie de Vivre: Selected Poems 1992-2012
  • The Blizzard Voices
  • The Whiskey Creek Water Company
  • Management Rewired: Why Feedback Doesn't Work and Other Surprising Lessons fromthe Latest Brain Science
  • Won't You Come Home Billy Bob Bailey?
  • Unearned Pleasures and Other Stories
  • Death's Door: The Truth Behind Michigan's Largest Mass Murder
  • Old MacDonald Had a Truck
  • The Elements of Academic Style: Writing for the Humanities
  • Dead Man's Float
  • Hidden History of Detroit
  • Merry Un-Christmas
  • Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual
Roger Rosenblatt’s essays for Time magazine and PBS have won two George Polk Awards, a Peabody, and an Emmy. He is the author of six Off-Broadway plays and 13 books, including the national bestseller Rules for Aging and Children of War, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has written two satirical novels, Beet and Lapham Risi ...more
More about Roger Rosenblatt...

Share This Book

“Truman Capote on Jack Kerouac: "That's not writing, it's typing.” 0 likes
“Male and Female Compatibility Rules: a. She's right. b. He's really thinking about nothing. Really.” 0 likes
More quotes…