Review: The Richest Man in Babylon

The Richest Man in BabylonI’ve never been a rabid fan of money. I could always catch that vague scent of hamster cage lingering about the social mores of society. It would become especially ripe and sweet about those whom would accept and/or believe in everything they were taught, without question. Money? What was that but a carrot in front of a horse..

But money is useful. In concept, as a neutral intermediary it enables a fair trade between consenting individuals. If you have carrots and I have potatoes, and both of us want to trade but we don’t have what the other wants, well, money is the solution. Ideally, it represents value.

This was the first in a series of money-oriented books recommended on Lifehack’s ‘10 Books You Should Read To Get Rich.’ Now, you might think being rich is overrated, and I’d likely concur, but I thought I would indulge my curiosity. It never hurts to add another positive goal to the pile, especially when one needs money to do anything great (admittedly, the degree to which money is needed depends on your definition of greatness.)

The Richest Man in Babylon won’t make you rich.. but I wonder if anyone believes that. There are no ‘hidden’ or mystical secrets here, and no plan is fool-proof. This book won’t help you if you believe that there is anything magical about money. In fact, in a series of parables set in ancient Babylon, Clason is working to dispel myths and assert common sense ideas for one to budget, invest, spend wisely, and grow an income. Money won’t come unearned, and it won’t stay with someone who can’t respect it, or doesn’t know how to wield it with maximum efficiency.

If you can convince them to read it, I would set this on a teenager’s bookshelf to give them a good start in life. Four out of five stars for some cute, vivid prose illustrating basic ideas while holding the reader’s attention. Well executed.

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