David BrooksNew York Times columnist David Brooks, alumnus of my college and our off-campus newspaper, explains beautifully some of the reasons I advise my executive coaching clients to put away popular business books and get into great novels.

Studying the humanities improves your ability to read and write. No matter what you do in life, you will have a huge advantage if you can read a paragraph and discern its meaning (a rarer talent than you might suppose). You will have enormous power if you are the person in the office who can write a clear and concise memo.

Studying the humanities will give you a familiarity with the language of emotion. … Branding involves the location and arousal of affection, and you can’t do it unless you are conversant in the language of romance.

Studying the humanities will give you a wealth of analogies. … If you go through college without reading Thucydides, Herodotus and Gibbon, you’ll have been cheated out of a great repertoire of comparisons.

David Brooks
History for Dollars



Also see my short post, Why I review novels on a blog for CEOs and executive coaches