Is Thirteen the Perfect Age to Read Think Like a Freak?
From a friend whose young daughter Lea, around 13 years old, grabbed the copy of Think Like a Freak that I send my friend and “is now devouring it.” But that’s not the good part:
She woke up this morning and told me that she had dreamed last night that we were at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees were winning 12-0, and when Lea looked around, everyone in the stands was reading Think Like a Freak.
And here’s a note from “an almost 13-year-old,” Charlotte, which came over the transom:
Hi! I just finished reading a pre-release of Think Like a Freak pretty much ten minutes ago, and I thought it was amazing. I just want to thank you for changing my life. When Freakonomics caught my eye when I was 11, I was already pretty nerdy/geeky — you know, books, anime, comics, sci-fi, the whole nine yards — but after reading Freakonomics, not only did I become especially nerdy, I had a whole new outlook on things. I started reading non-fiction, and now I like to read about psychology, neurology, geoengineering, astrophysics (had to read a lot of physics to be able to get that stuff), ancient Asian philosophy (oddly enough), aviation, history (of anything), and, my favorite, economics. And thanks to you and Dan Ariely (have you read his work? it’s fascinating) I look at the world in a totally different way, and I’m better for it. So basically, I’m just a really weird almost-13-year-old who’s hoping your coin will turn up tails. I mean, if you don’t think you can write another book and feel good about it, I understand, but I’ll be waiting with bated breath for a fourth. (If you’ve read this far, thank you so, so much, since this was pretty pointless).
You cannot know how happy it makes me that 13-year-olds are reading and liking this book. To me, theirs are the minds best suited to think like a Freak, since they haven’t yet adopted all the biases and preconceptions that haunt us oldster.
By the way, Charlotte’s bit about “hoping the coin will turn up tails” has to do with the book’s last chapter, in which we wonder whether we should take our own coin-toss advice and maybe knock off this whole Freakonomics thing.