How Wizards Do Money: Draco Malfoy

Draco knows that people with as much money as the Malfoy family generally don’t think about it too much; instead, they hire people to think about their money for them.

But Draco does a lot of thinking.

The Malfoy family fortune is not properly his, in that if he truly wanted to take the majority of the funds and rebuild Hogwarts—which was on his mind, a decade ago—he would have to go through nests of executors and conclaves of relatives.

And Hogwarts got rebuilt anyway.


Books That Are Worth The Money

1) Books you have read already, perhaps via the library, that you know that you will want to reread

2) Books that activate the release of serotonin in your brain simply by the sight of their spines because you love them so much

3) Books with pretty spines

4) Books with pretty titles

5) Books that help define your tastes, opinions, and proclivities to strangers who might be in your apartment and looking at your shelves

6) Children’s books, because you will read each of them ten zillion times until you have them memorized and can rattle them off while walking down the street. “Up! Up! The sun is getting up! The sun gets up, so up with you! Up ear #1, ear #2!”

7) Reference-y books that you can reach out for in times of need, like Bird by Bird

8) Anything by Anne Lamott, really


Equality /= Dystopia

Today in The Atlantic, there’s a slightly strange argument that it’s going to be difficult to ever have social and economic equality because young adult literature has explored the topic thoroughly and determined that every instance of equality leads to a dystopia.

I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

The article, “What Is The Price of Perfect Equality,” explains the economic and social systems of a few YA texts (The GiverDelirium) to state:

The argument, then, is that perfect equality engineers a certain trade: guaranteed equal outcomes entail the forfeiting of art, music, literature, spontaneity, passion, even color itself. 


Commerce and trade, it turns out, are just as dependent on the passions as the passions are dependent on commerce and trade in The Giver. The true nightmare of a dystopian world is that all of these things are interconnected, and that by losing one or the other, by engineering it away socially or medically, nightmarish unintended consequences will ensue.


How Wizards Do Money: Ron Weasley

Ron and Hermione’s children were at least one-third Muggle, or something like that—maths were never Ron’s strong suit—and Hermione insisted they spend as much time with their Muggle grandparents as they did with the Weasleys. Since he and Hermione spent nearly every Sunday dinner at his parents’ house, that meant he also spent a lot of time watching Hermione zoom away in her little silver Prius, Rose and Hugo in back, on their way to London.


Refundable Pop Culture?

Would you spend more on pop culture consumables if your satisfaction were somehow guaranteed? On my Twitter feed this morning, I saw this series of proclamations from a publisher that believes so strongly in its product that it is willing to refund you your money if you don’t agree. (As always with tweets, read from the bottom up.)

Here’s more information about the book itself, which looks like a loving satire/send-up of undergraduate education in England. If you take this Melville House challenge, let us know how it goes!


How Wizards Do Money: Cho Chang

Cho never told her husband.

She got used to standing up and walking over to whatever she wanted, instead of saying “accio coffee cup!” It was really less about getting used to it than it was about forgetting, and Cho wanted to forget.


How Wizards Do Money: Rita Skeeter

After talking to Rolf Scamander and Luna Lovegood, my next step was to seek out Rolf’s colleague at the Daily Prophet—“colleague is a loose word,” Rolf said—the gossip columnist and human-interest writer Rita Skeeter.

“I don’t just do human interest,” Rita said. “I write centaur interest, snake interest, ghost interest, anyone who’s interested, I’ll write for them.”

The curls in her hair twitched a little, as if she were sniffing me out. I reassured her that I, too, was a hack writer.

“Then you know how it is,” Rita said. “Always having to scrabble around for money.”


The Billfold Book Club: We’re Reading ‘Getting Things Done’ on Thursday, August 28

This month, I learned that if you put a joke entry on the Billfold Book Club list, it will get the most votes.

We are reading David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity for the August installment of the Billfold Book Club!

The book itself isn’t a joke; as you know, I’ve been practicing GTD for about six years. It’s just that Getting Things Done isn’t about money. Which is fine because it is about productivity and hustle and work-life balance and organizing your time so you actually enjoy your life.

It is probably also about planning ahead so you don’t spend extra money on takeout or something. We can absolutely make it about that.

We’ll be reading Getting Things Done on Thursday, August 28.

Put “search library website for GTD” on your Next Actions list now.


Photo: Robert Scoble


How Wizards Do Money: Luna Lovegood

As soon as you approach Luna Lovegood and Rolf Scamander’s home, which totters over itself as if it were a hollow tree, a nest, and a burrow simultaneously, you know you are about to meet a family who doesn’t quite do things in the usual way.


Career Advice From the Dalai Lama

“I think if we make a special effort to cultivate good relationships with people at work, get to know the other people, and bring our basic good human qualities to the workplace, that we can make a tremendous difference,” he writes. “Then, whatever kind of work we do, it can be a source of satisfaction.”