300,000 Books, Let Me ...


The grab-bag post returns for the first time in 2019.

As a refresher, I invented the grab bag as a forum to share three shards on business communications that otherwise couldn’t stand on their own.

Here goes.


Who Will Get the Books?

Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld died last month.

According to Le Figaro, the designer’s beloved cat Choupette will inherit a sizeable part of the $300 million estate since he wrote her into his will in 2015. Yet, the question that none of the obituaries addressed: Who gets Mr. Lagerfeld’s library?

The man had over 300,000 books.

I’m guessing you won’t find anything in the library by Harold Robbins.



They Won’t Let Me In

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

An EE Times reporter, David Benjamin, was denied entrance to a round table on privacy sponsored by the GSMA at Mobile World Congress.

Unlike the song by the Five Man Electrical Band, there was no sign that said the Mobile World Congress session was invitation-only. This prompted Benjamin to chronicle his experience in trying to gain entrance with a level of detail that would have made Tolstoy proud.

Momentarily, I sensed more tugging at my sleeve. My usherette, although polite, seemed irked. She said again that this was a “private session.” I said that yeah, I’d got the drift, thanks. But, I said, look, kid, affairs like this are only “private” insofar that they’re not open to the general public, the riffraff as it were.

Spoiler alert, he never used the phrase “pretty please.”

I’m guessing that the GSMA discussed Mr. Benjamin at its post-mortem on Mobile World Congress.


Why The Economist Tops My Nightstand Reading

For further proof that “the story is always there,” I give you The Economist.

Their journalists find the weird, the incongruent with word play that melts in your brain. And that’s just in the headline.



My vocabulary expanded by one word. The next time I need to reference admiration of men with beards, I know where to turn.

And the riff on “Amazing Grace” definitely warrants a smirk.

Of course, this is the same publication that has turned the anecdote into an art form and published the best obituary I’ve ever read.

A tip of the hat to Alessandra Tinio in our Hong Kong office who flagged the bearded wonder on LinkedIn.

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