Readers of this blog know that I love books. There must be some psychological label for someone who must have a book within reach at all times. Whether at home or at the office, whether on a flight or a long drive, I am uncomfortable unless a book is close by.
In recent years, my career has me surrounded with books. As I walk down an aisle of books, I need to use all my willpower not to stop and start browsing. And what captures my attention? Book covers.
Book Covers Pull You In
Do you ever buy a book because you are attracted to its cover? Book covers do that. A well-designed book jacket stops you. Maybe makes you squint or smile or pause for a second. It calls you to pick up the book and look inside.
Each year, I make a list of the best book covers. Here is my 2013 list. (And, if you missed, here are the best book covers of 2012 and 2011.) What’s your favorite?
I Hate to Leave this Beautiful Place by Howard Norman
Shouting Won’t Help by Katherine Bouton
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
Creative You: Using Your Personality Type to Thrive by David Goldstein and Otto Kroeger (see my interview with David Goldstein here.)
Do you think of yourself as creative? Or do you think you missed that gene? You admire others who paint or sculpt or write or create, but it’s not for you. Or maybe you remember a teacher encouraging you as a child, but that was long ago and you no longer think you’re very innovative.
David B. Goldstein and Otto Kroeger argue that everyone is creative. In their new book Creative You: Using Your Personality Type to Thrive, they give readers the opportunity to understand their creative potential. When you take the quiz, you discover which of over sixteen personality types you are and how you can harness your unique creative power.
I recently had the opportunity to talk with David about his work and what he has learned about creativity and personality.
Invent a Better Way
David, most people only use a fraction of their potential creative ability available. What do you say to those who say they don’t care whether they are considered creative or not? Why is it so important to understand your style and become more creative?
Great question, Skip! Everything is changing quickly and each day we all have to solve unprecedented problems at home and at work. To survive and to compete we need to be creative. Creativity isn’t just about making art or music; it’s about inventing better ways to do our jobs, and if we leave creativity up to others, we will be left behind.
Busting Creativity Myths
You bust myth after myth about creativity. I think you list twenty myths. Let’s talk about a few of them. Would you share just three of these myths and why they are wrong?
Yes, there is much mystery around the creative process and the myths that many of us accept harm us by holding us back. Here are three:
1. “There is only one type of creativity.”
A critical mistake many of us make is in assuming that we’re all the same. Did Henry Ford have the same kind of creative style as Picasso? Ford was conservative and created within a rigid model; Picasso was much more fluid. We all have unique knowledge, can learn techniques, and are capable of creating in our own way. Give a classroom of children a topic and ask them to write an essay, and then see how many variations you get. Each of us sees the world in our own way, and we act accordingly. Our creativity is as unique as our fingerprints and leaves an impression on whatever we make.
Creativity is about inventing better ways to do our jobs. -David Goldstein