Book 17 of 52: "Send – The Essential Guide to Email" by David Shipley and Will Schwalbe

I picked this book up on a whim.  “How hard is email, really?” I asked myself, as I considered whether it was even worth checking out from the library.  “As long as you don’t write down anything that’s completely idiotic, I’m sure email is as easy as talking to someone.”

After reading this book, I can honestly admit that I was wrong.

For you, dear reader, who is so certain that you know about email, here are a few tougher questions for you to consider:

  • What’s the protocol for adding someone to an email chain?  
  • Similarly, what’s the protocol for removing someone?
  • What happens if someone forwards your email without your knowledge?
  • What if someone forwards your email – but alters your words?
  • Is that person being sarcastic, patronizing, or genuinely thankful?
  • How are you coming off in your emails?
All of these questions were things I’d never really pondered before Send, and if you’d asked me, I probably would have had an answer – but no justification as to why.  Now, after reading this book, I think I better understand some of the intricacies of proper email correspondence – even if most others around me don’t bother to practice them.
Overall, I’d say that Send is a good read.  It’s easy and fun, fast-paced, and filled with great laugh-out-loud examples of famous people (if they had been able to communicate through email).  If you know someone with absolutely terrible email habits, this might be their next Christmas gift.
Time to read: 2-3 hours?  Under 300 pages, and small pages besides.

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