Book Review – How to Win Friends and Influence People (in a Digital Age) – Dale Carnegie

With my second review comes a decision to format each book review article in the same way. This should provide commonality across them as they grow in number and provide me with a clear format on what I should be including a set amount of information. So each review from now on will begin with a summary, my takeaways then finally some of my favourite quotes. So lets yet into it 🙂


How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a pretty old book, first published in 1937 its sold over 30 million copies and is listed as one of the best selling and most influential books of all time. The version I have recently finished is an updated version that reframes Carnegie’s original topics and fames them around using social media and the Internet, things that were pure imagination back in the 30’s. The book goes though a number of key principles of communication, self expression, leadership and how your or business actions in certain situations can go different ways depending how you take them and react either in good or bad ways. It poses a number of scenarios in story format of ways in which businesses or people have addresses situations and the consequences of such actions advising you as the reader on the good and bad things so should you find yourself in a similar situation you are better equiped though your learnings of the book.

My Takeaways

I have heard about this book a bunch of times over the years, its much shorter than I thought it would be. Its more of guidelines on how to be a nice person more than anything else and how just being a good person generally leads to great things somewhere or another. After reading it, what is hyped as one of the must reads of ones life time I didn’t really think it was that great, maybe this was the first book back in the 30’s to say these mantras to live by, but I feel like I’ve read them all a dozen times now over the years in other self-help/growth books and blogs.

The version I read was published in 2011, adding the digital age to the title kind of means it gets outdated fast, with tech and the technology industry moving at a blistering pace it speaks about Facebook back then not the raging behemoth it is now and doesn’t even mention Instagram, I guess that this update needs updated again.

Favourite Quotes

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

“Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie

“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.” – Dale Carnegie

“You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.” – Dale Carnegie

“By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.” – Dale Carnegie

Closing Words

Would I recommend it yea, probably I would ask a question on how many self-help books the reader has already read, if only a couple, crack on but if you have read a fair number your have likely already heard most of the teachings but its short enough to blast though in a week or so.

Listening Faster – Audiobooks at x2 speed

Over that last few weeks I have begun listening to audiobooks at x2+ speed, after each book is completed I increase the speed by 0.5 to find my max digestion speed. As it stands my current speed is at x2.15, I still have no problem taking in the information or understanding what’s being said. I’ll admit when I first started at x2.0 speed it sounds a bit strange but after 10-15min my brain had adapted and was processing the information normally. But why I hear you ask?

Consuming information and media is a fundamental part of life, whether your listening, watching or reading we all do it, it’s how we grow as a person via our learnings and life experiences, if you can consume and learn more, it can set you apart from another who is consuming only minimal amounts and not learning much at all.

If I said to you that you could easily get through 5-6 audiobooks per month with only an hour a day of listening, would this not peak your interest? Over the course of a year you would amass a total completed list of 72 audiobooks!

How? Audiobooks are recorded for all ages and capabilities, the default playback speed has to suit everybody regardless of the speed they themselves can read or digest information. In a digital age of social media and instant gratification the speed I can process information is much faster than the likes of my Dad, while he is tech savvy enough not he’s not been around technology and the Internet throughout all of his teens and adult life like I have, he’s much more comfortable reading the paper than flicking though Reddit and news sites. Due to the bombardment of information I am used to I can process information quicker, and more efficiently than my Dad can and no doubt the kids of today the true digital natives can do it better and faster than me.

Finding your limits, when you read a book to yourself or think to yourself what speed does your internal monologue go at? I am sure its much faster than you can read aloud. The aim of listening to audiobooks at an increased speed it to find where your limit is, when your internal monologue can no longer keep up, once this point is reached drop the speed one or two points below this value and continue listening. Being at x2.15 at the moment I am having no trouble I can see myself reaching around x2.5 before I need to look at tapering off.

Honestly give it a go, audio books, podcasts anything you just need to sit and listen to, its weird at first listening to someone speak in fast forward, by your mind soon adapts the situation and handles it as the new normal.