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tv   Gary Hoover The Lifetime Learners Guide to Reading and Learning  CSPAN  December 31, 2021 12:04am-12:30am EST

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country in the history of the earth, your review does matter. to all the filmmakers remember the content is king and just remember to be as neutral and impartial as possible in your portrayal of both sides of an issue. c-span rewards $100,000 in total cash prizes and you have a shot at winning the grand prize of $5,000. entries must be received before january 20th, 2022. for competition rules, tutorials or how to get started, visit the website at student ingary hoover is the authorf this book the lifetime learner's guide to reading and learning about before we get into that, the themes of the book, in your biography it says you live in a 33 room house, 32 rooms of which
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contain books giving a 57,000 books in total. explain. a. >> a few more came last week so i've got to be closer to 60,000. it's an addiction and there's no 12 step program for book collectors. >> so a 33 room house the. >> i found a good bargain on an abandoned community health clinic in a small town in texas so it's got all these little exam rooms so each room is a different subject. i'm an information junkie i
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could look up anything in a book. a lot of questions you can't answer from a book but anything that was in the book and began to build this reference library. so there's very little fiction, but it covers almost every subject imaginable as far as nonfiction books and people are surprised and yet there's so much great stuff that hadn't been scanned under copyright. about my method i call it digesting ark book i normally spendon 15 to 30 minutes to grap what it's about. it wouldn't work for a novel but it's for nonfiction books into the kind of stuff i read, social science and a lot of history.
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i have a method i go through for example i look at the index first. i look for things i already know something about and it allows me to remember everything i see. but i'm not a speed reader. it's about really slowing down and thinking about the book and at the same time realizing the book is mine now that i bought it or got it at a library so i don't have to read it sequentially from front to back. i can skip around, study the table of contents for ten minutes or 20 minutes to get the whole concept and if i want to go longer than a half-hour i'm a free two. a good encyclopedia or dictionary style i will spend two or three hours with. >> i was struck by the fact that what you wrote in your book the lifetime learners guide to reading and learning that 70% of your library is not contained on
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the internet. how did you reach that? >> it is a general conclusion because i have a couple of blogs and my main thing that now is business history. i have a nonprofit called the american business history center so i'm always researching and almost none of that is online. the depths of business history, the connections, the full biographies of the business leaders but it would apply to when i've been to 45 countries and studying themd before i go and all the information i gather about china and with the politics are and how the economy works into the government works i lead the tour is in the mexican city to really understand it. i had to go to the mexican census bureau and gather all their books. so just a huge amount of stuff that's the other thing about online is when you try to study long-term trends which fascinate me becausein it is the only wayo
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see the future very clearly is the internet is also one trends if you look up what leverages do americans consume howth do they move from milk to orange juice two gatorade, beer, wine, coca-cola all you will find is this year versus last year or this month and last month. nobody looks out more than say three years would be a long-term chart. you can google long-term chart on any subject and yet i go back in my books and government publications i can find those answers readily back for 50 years, 100 years which is what you need to understand what's going on and that applies to a lot more things than just beverage consumption. a. >> you say that you are a proponent of wikipedia. >> i believe you always have to be a skeptic, not a cynic where you dealt people's motives but a
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skeptic. in missouri so like in business history it's often awful. sometimes it's okay but a lot of people it's people that used to work at the company or hates the company. read a history of a o company 100-years-old and it will say two lines about the founding and then 2007 they sold out to samanta so.'m there is all that missing. on the other hand if i want to look up a type of animal, bird, population, country, it is pretty good but again i certainly if i'm going to put something in writing in a book or one of my blogs or newsletters i'm going to check and double check so the sources are right but certainly the world is better because of wikipedia the end without it in my opinion. >> 57,000 books isn't a cheap hobby. how do you make your money or how did you make your money?
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>> well, first a retailer at heart that is among my first passions, that and trains as a little boy which still continues today and i started a chain of bookstores in austin texas in 1982. my friends and i and we were the first giant discount bookstore so we built from coast-to-coast, san diego to miami edison avenut 7-years-old barnes and noble bought it so made some money there and then my friends and i company that i didn't call it this but it later became the biggest website about information about companies in the world and that went public but in the meanwhile i'd gone back to retail and started a traveles business and airline stopped paying commissionsll on airline tickets are lost. so i had a big house on lake austin which is a beautiful thing and 2.5 acres and 250 feet
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of lakefront and sold all that, downgraded, downsized but i never sold a book. i've given away a few but i've been a bookseller, book collector and author and book publisher for a while so no, the books aren't going anywhere. there's some one-of-a-kind stuff like the first general motors owned and signed by the chairman of the main stockholder mr. dupont. i just have all kinds of crazy stuff that i've collected for like 65 years or 62 years or something like that. >> you right that the most fundamental skill of the curious personou is to look and observe. >> i'm sorry, to look -- >> and observe. a. >> yes.
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i talk a lot about the ways that towe learn and being in the classroom i was out of the business school at the university of texas at austin for a year and i taught a lot of classes and i've spoken all over umthe world. so whether it's classroom or just watching c-span something that's perceived as being passive but it shouldn't be when i watch a documentary i'm making notes and arguing with a documentarian in a lecture or something i will be taking notes and going up afterwards and asking about this or that so that's one way we learn and there's a number of them, trial and error or experience or experimentation, conversation is the way most people learn most of what they know. but one of them that gets left out they don't do in most classesam is observation so whei teach classes i take them to a shopping mall and they have to go into little teams, one or two
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persons per team depending how many are in the class and one group has to compare the types of cars that are parked out nordstrom andjcpenney which aret socioeconomicc markets they are serving. one group has to go in and estimate the annual revenue of every foodcourt attendant. i send the engineers and i get all of these that have a business idea but really have never been in business and they are mainly men. i send them to compare the cosmetics department at macy's, pennies and nordstrom because they never stepped foot in the cosmetics department's or compae the p lighting or the flooring s a retailer i know those are critically important but most customers never look at them. it's like the stage for a play when you are putting on a great retail stores with the powers of observation and everywhere i've gonehe 45 countries probably 2 million digital pictures i've taken that he goes, i have three
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video channels, time-lapse all over the world. i'm always just watching, sitting there and people watching cafés and airports and train stations, on the street how are they walking, how fast are they walking, what kind of phone are they using, are they in families, how do they treat their kids and as a retailer i always say it is applied social science, so i studied under milton friedman and a couple of other great economics people and inthe university of chicago and sociology, psychology and all that. it's even more important than lofinance and marketing. sometimes it is more rare. but to understand the retail applying geography or demography, sociology and to grasp ofsh the world didn't andt understand of the human aspect
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of the world which is an important aspect if you go into any reasonably well-known supermarket and go in for half an hour you should be able to come out of there and tell me the ethnicity of the customers, the average family size, the incomes, so much about the people just the way to go to grocery store is merchandised especially locally oriented and texas publics out of the south even though they are pretty big they still really focused on the individual customers at each store. everybody is so caught up watching their gadget i got rid of my smart phone to find a distraction but i still carry a tablet. there is such a distraction so it's a way of seeing things that might be helpful in understanding the world. >> do you consider yourself to be a renaissance man?
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>> all those words, renaissance person i just love to learn it. .even my mother after i talked o her on the phone she would say what did you learn today if you meet somebody on an airplane it's not can they help you get rich or this or that it's what did you learn from them and i believe there's no person on earth i can't learn something from so i gave a talk to the entrepreneur's club and the president off the clubhead's driver pick me up like a 35-year-old on a steel mill i learned a lot from him and of the driver because one of my questions going in from my research was what about literacy rates between the men and women because that is a major block to the economic development. thehe real question was is the drivers. if you sit next to me across the atlantic and pacific you have another thing coming.
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i have a million questions for you. they drive the people around them lots asking questions those are relevant questions. the curious and inquisitive leaders. andd now it's basically dust dust, very sad -- you give 160
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book recommendations do you recommend reading shakespeare? >> with your book recommendations in the lifetime learner's guide to reading and learning do you recommend reading on shakespeare? >> it's kind of parallel people say will you go on my advisory board and when i give advice i have 10,000 business plans may
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be that but when they say go on the board, no i'm giving the names of 20 people right now, 100 times as much ass i know about building a hardware or software company. it would be silly for me to venture into shakespeare. i know we go to world atlas and encyclopedia. i know a good book on history and go to social science books, so i tried to stick to my real house as they say these days. i think learning art and music and architecture is critically important and i touch on architecture because that is a field i have a great interest in and urban studies and how cities evolve. but no, the more you read, and the other thing if you look at how our great ideas are created if you study the people that have created great businesses it's usually connecting to things everybody's seen but then
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the key to that is the more subjects you've studied that have some knowledge of how they think and so on that exponentially increases your odds of coming up with a breakthrough idea because when you are sorting through ideas how can i combine ideas from those all of a sudden you have shakespeare and the great architect and a life story of conrad hilton and the more subjects you are interested in, your chances of coming up with something innovative goes up geometrically so but to truly study it and always start with a history where does it come from, who had this concept and what
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role did it play in society. i wrote a news letter where we talk about the family and how they ran their business and how parallel it is to the way the venture capitalist today turns to the division of the stock between money and of the people doing the work. it's about the same it's like 15th century which is a little bit of a surprise to some people. >> is there any significance to the 160 recommendations? >> i just ran out of steam and pages put down 160. i could do thousands. i always invite people to e-mal me, hit contact on one of my websites and ask what's a good book on this and if it's in my area of interest, i will fire right back within usually an hour or two were sometimes 24 hours if i'm traveling like i am now and give a list of books. sometimes i have to run to the
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library to double check the titles but i started out but i thought were the most important and i would say i do by recent publications but the chunks of my s library are before 1970, ad a decent chunk is before 1920 and sometimes the best book on a subject a lot of times was done in the 80s or 90s. youar can't find old books and that's gotten worse in recent years. i have frequent shopper cards in singapore, tel aviv and moscow. so all the booksellers but to find an old book i type in the
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title in the google search and then the link will pop up and now that's almost always much faster than searching inside amazon's so i hope that if they are listening it would make my life easier. >> one of those books you recommend is the classic guide to intelligent reading. >> that's a great booksp and i think if i recall there may be five different methods of reading a book and i was pleased to see that my method is very close to what they call inspectional reading and another thing they mentioned and this might be the next level that i do once in a while but i should do more often as they get different books on the same subject and lay them out and turned to the same story or section so when i was trying to understand the conflict it's
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hard to find books that were not around on one side or the other but there's like three books or four books like down the middle that tell a the history and the declaration or act or whatever it was but then i had a three or four and i could turn the pages i wrote anna article about the founding of atlantic records but iy, started studying and realizd almost every business story and history storyto i study has two views every time there's a meeting. when i got in the record industry there's's like six vie. how many people discovered the deals, thousands i bet. and on the other hand when a group bombs, nobody had anything to do with them or ever met with
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them and a lot of people in the record business are liars and cheats so i've been blessed to be in the book business and retailing where i found high levels of honesty and integrity so it's kind of a shock to me when i read all these people lying to each other left and right but it's very interesting how he lived his whole life and was the greatest man. i met eric clapton and all these guys cried at his funeral because he was such a force in the music industry. you seem to use a load of quotations in your writing. is that purposeful? >> a wall of what? >> a lot of quotations.
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an english teacher told me half of what i know about retail and i think you develop your own writing style usually it isn't a direct quotation of somebody saying something i'm not sure this means what they say it means. like it was a terrible event or something cultivate the skills tiof contemplation take the path
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g less traveled 5% of the time d be skeptical three pieces of advice in gary hoover's the lifetime learner's guide to reading and learning
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secretaries knew because they were tasked with transcribing many of those conversations infected they were the ones johnson would signal to them. >> you also hear some blunt talk. a. >> a number of the people assigned to kennedy into the number assigned to me now. if i can't go to the bathroom i won't go. i will stay right behind like this.


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