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Understanding Blue Book Values

When you’re shopping for a new vehicle, you want to get a great deal. When you’re selling a car, you want to get the best price. To make this happen, you have to know the vehicle’s value — what someone is willing to pay for it. Many people refer to this as the Blue Book value. If you’re not sure what to ask or pay for a vehicle, you can check out the Blue Book value of used trucks, cars or new vehicles, and use it as a starting point for the negotiation.

What Is the Blue Book Value?

The Blue Book value comes from a guidebook that assigns values to vehicles based on what other sellers receive for similar makes and models. This name comes from Kelley Blue Book, one of the first and best-known vehicle valuation guidebooks. It started as a list of cars that Les Kelley, owner of Kelley Car Company in Los Angeles, wanted to buy and how much he would pay for them.

Over time, the list expanded into what became known as Kelley’s Blue Book, the Kelley Blue Book or the Blue Book. Insurance companies, lenders and the U.S. government use this guide to establish values for vehicles. In the 1980s the company issued a consumer edition of the book and created an interactive website in the following decade. Today, when people talk about the Blue Book value, they may refer to the Kelley Blue Book or a different valuation system.

Determining Vehicle Values

To determine the value of vehicles, experts research price trends in different parts of the country. They may review wholesale auction prices, check sale prices on cars and trucks at dealerships and find out what individuals get for their vehicles. Other sources include vehicle manufacturers, lenders and fleet sale records.

When you see the Blue Book value of used cars, there’s a range of numbers. These prices vary regionally and seasonally. They also get adjusted as markets shift. The result is what the industry considers a fair purchase price, but it doesn’t predict what you’ll actually get for or pay for the vehicle.

How to Use Blue Book Values

Blue Book values are useful for buyers and sellers. Buyers use these values to determine if a seller is asking a fair price for a vehicle. Sellers use them to set a fair sale price. However, there’s more than one Blue Book value.

One value is the trade-in range. This number reflects what a car dealership might offer a customer who wants to use a vehicle as part of the payment for another vehicle. The Blue Book also gives a private party value. It shows what a seller can expect to

Alternatives to the Blue Book

The Blue Book system isn’t the only way to determine a vehicle’s value. You can check vehicle classified publications like Auto Trader to find out what sellers in your area are asking for specific vehicles. Another option is to peruse other pricing guides published by Edmunds and NADA. Many dealerships refer to the Black Book to set vehicle values, which is available through a subscription.

How to Find Blue Book Values for Vehicles

The consumer version of the Blue Book is available at the publication’s website. There you can search for the value range of car or find out what you could expect to receive for your own vehicle. Enter the vehicle’s information, including year, make and model. Provide the mileage and your zip code. Select the vehicle’s options.

The final step — and sometimes the most challenging — is to describe the vehicle’s condition. According to the website, most vehicles fall under the good condition category. If you’re unsure, you can take a quick quiz that asks questions about the condition of items like the paint, body, seats and wheels. The system then gives you suggested values for a trade-in and private party sale. You also have the option of getting an immediate cash offer on the vehicle or donating it to a charity.


good books values

Healthy Living

good books values

Recommended Reading: Books to Build Character & Teach Your Child Important Values

good books values

​​​​By: Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, FAAP

​In today's world, children and teens are bombarded with conflicting, ever-shifting standards of ethics and morality. At the same time, you are trying to teach and instill good values at home. Fortunately, a really great book has the power to counterbalance these outside influences and teach children important lessons as they grow.  

It might be a book on kindness after your child experienced or witnessed cruelty. It might be a book on expressing emotions after your child s​aw or heard scary news coverage, or maybe a book on understanding differences after your child saw someone who looked differently than they do.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Reach Out and Read have compiled the following list of books—organized by age and topic—to help you raise children who are aware of the world around them, curious, brave, kind, and thoughtful. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to review these titles in advance of sharing them with their children.  

Then read together! Books are great conversation starters that can give you an opportunity to talk to your children about these issues and help them learn and understand your family's values.

Books to teach kindness

Teaching kindness to children is an important skill to build and reinforce at all ages. Young children can learn how small acts of kindness help and please others, but teens can learn broader, larger concepts grounded in morals and ethics.

Preschoolers & early grades

  • Stand​ in My Shoes: Kids Learning About Empathy , by Bob Sornson; illustrated by Shelley Johannes
  • Those Shoes , by Maribeth Boelts, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones
  • Kindness is Cooler, Mrs Ruler , by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa
  • What Does It Mean To Be Kind? , by Rana DiOrio, illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch
  • Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed , by Emily Pearson, illustrated by Fumi Kosaka
  • Each Kindness , by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
  • The Invisible Boy , by Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Patrice Barton
  • Heartprints , by P.K. Hallinan

Middle grades

  • Charlotte's Web , by E.B. White, illustrated by Garth Williams
  • Wonder , by RJ Palacio
  • Kindness: A Treasury of Buddhist Wisdom for Children and Parents , by Sarah Conover and Valerie Wahl
  • Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
  • Rules , by Cynthia Lord

Books about expressing emotions

Children may see anger, sadness, and loss in parents and other adults in their lives and be uncertain how to respond. Younger children may have difficulty naming their emotions, but find it easier to identify with a character in a book. Older children may have difficulty sorting through complex feelings and worry about burdening adults who are struggling themselves. Books can help children process, clarify, and put a name to their feelings.

  • Moody Cow Meditates , by Kerry Lee MacLean
  • That's How I Feel (Asi Me Siento) , by Rourke Publishing
  • Have you Filled a Bucket Today? , by Carol McCloud, illustrated by David Messing
  • What if Everybody Did That? , by Ellen Javernick, illustrated by Colleen M. Madden
  • I Was So Mad , by Mercer Mayer
  • Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners , by Laurie Keller
  • My Many Colored Days , by Dr Seuss
  • Michael Rosen's Sad Book, by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Quentin Blake
  • Queenie Peavy , by Robert Burch
  • Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life for Teens , by Sheri Van Dijk
  • A Still Quiet Place: A Mindfulness Program for Teaching Children and Adolescents to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions , by Amy Saltzman MD
  • Learning to Breathe: A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents to Cultivate Emotion Regulation, Attention, and Performance , by Patricia Broderick PhD

Books about bullying & harassment

Bullying and harassment are difficult topics for everyone, and they are an increasing issue in schools across the country. It's common for younger children to repeat language they've heard without understanding the implications of what they're saying. Those who are harassed (or are worried about being harassed) may have strong fear and anxiety. Children who are bystanders may not know how to respond, particularly if they fear being bullied themselves.

  • Chrysanthemum , by Kevin Henkes
  • The Hundred Dresses , by Eleanor Estes, Illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
  • Edwardo: the Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide World , by John Burningham
  • Say Something , by Peggy Moss, Illustrated by Lea Lyon
  • Babymouse: Queen of the World , by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm
  • Bully B.E.A.N.S. , by Julia Cook, Illustrated by Anita DuFalla
  • Confessions of a Former Bully , by Trudy Ludwig, Illustrated by Beth Adams
  • Stitches , by Glen Huser
  • To This Day: For the Bullied and the Beautiful , by Shane Koyczan
  • Understanding Buddy , by Marc Kornblatt
  • Loser , by Jerry Spinelli
  • Veronica Ganz , by Marilyn Sachs
  • Blubber , by Judy Blume
  • Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories , by Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones
  • Speak , by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Freak Show , by James St James
  • Stargirl , by Jerry Spinelli
  • 7 Days at the Hot Corner , by Terry Trueman

Books on listening to others' views

Learning how to listen well and respect different views are important life skills. While younger children find it difficult to take the perspective of others, they gain that ability over time. Older children may become great debaters—especially with their parents. Books can offer models for engaging with others who have different views in a respectful and productive manner.

  • When Sophie's Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt , by Molly Bang
  • I'm the Best , by Lucy Cousins
  • Chocolate Milk, Por Favor , by Maria Dismondy, illustrated by Donna Farrell
  • The Sandwich Swap , by Queen Rania of Jordan & Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Tricia Tusa
  • Junkyard Wonders , by Patricia Polacco
  • The Conquerers , by David McKee

Middle Grades

  • Zero Tolerance , by Claudia Mills
  • The Cat at the Wall , by Deborah Ellis
  • The Three Questions , by Jon Muth


  • This Side of Home , by Renee Watson

Books about respecting differences

Children are naturally curious about others (particularly other children) who fall into groups other than their own. Think of your child's curiosity as an opportunity to teach him or her about respecting these differences. Remember, in order to raise kids to embrace diversity, you'll need to give them access to a variety of different cultures and traditions—books are a great way to do that!

  • I Like Myself! , by Karen Beaumont, Illustrated by David Catrow
  • Red: A Crayon's Story , by Michael Hall
  • Giraffes Can't Dance , by Giles Andreae, Illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees
  • Strictly No Elephants , by Lisa Mantchev, Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
  • Two Speckled Eggs , by Jennifer K. Mann
  • Willow , by Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan, Illustrated by Cyd Moore
  • Out of My Mind , by Sharon M. Draper
  • Inside Out and Back Again , by Thanhha Lai
  • The Ordinary Princess , by M. M. Kaye

Books on social change & civic engagement

Many children are drawn to helping others—even at young ages. Maybe it is raising money for a cause or having a passion for issue impacting their community. Books can help them understand the broader concepts of social justice and civic engagement. Younger children tend to thinking of things as "good vs. bad," but as they get older they develop very sophisticated and nuanced moral reasoning.

Preschoolers & early grades

  • Grace for President , by Kelly DiPucchio, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
  • A Chair for My Mother , by Vera B. Williams
  • Mama's Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation , by Edwidge Danticat, Illustrated by Leslie Staub
  • House Mouse, Senate Mouse , by Peter W. Barnes and Cheryl Shaw Barnes
  • Being Me , by Rosemary McCarney, Illustrated by Yvonne Cathcart
  • Paper Things , by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
  • The Kid's Guide to Social Action , by Barbara A. Lewis
  • Hoot , by Carl Hiaasen
  • The Chocolate War , by Robert Cormier
  • The Great Greene Heist , by Varian Johnson
  • The Grapes of Wrath , by John Steinbeck
  • The Plain Janes , by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg
  • Samir and Yonatan , by Daniella Carmi
  • The Lions of Little Rock , by Kristin Levine
  • March: Book One , by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin

More information:

Using Books to Talk About Race and Racism

10 Tips to Help Your Child Fall in Love With Reading

Help Your Child Enjoy Reading Aloud: Tips for Parents

Recommended Reading: Diverse and Inclusive Books for Children​

About Dr. Navsaria: 

good books values

Editor's Note: Our collective thanks to the following colleagues who also helped compose this list:  Amy Shriver, MD, FAAP,   Jenny Radesky, MD, FAAP,   Perri Klass, MD, FAAP,   Dina Joy Lieser, MD, FAAP,  and t he librarians at the Cooperative Children's Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison.

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The Value Of Books

By Tasha Broomhall

Written by Kelly Ho and Janet Stevens

For some of us, we love nothing more than curling up with a good book, getting lost in stories; the characters’ lives, personalities and their adventures. Some of us, however, are not such avid readers, and may find that we do not have the time, the inclination, or the attention span to sit and read. But multiple studies have shown the various benefits of reading, and the positive impact that this can have on our wellbeing .

The Value of Books

Vocabulary and knowledge.

Reading improves your vocabulary and your knowledge of the world. It can open minds to different ideas which may challenge our own and cause us to view things in a different light. A study by Delgado, Vargas, Ackerman and Salmeron, published in 2018, demonstrated that reading also improves written comprehension skills. Whilst this might seem obvious, the results also found that paper-based reading had a greater effect in improving written comprehension skills than screen-based reading.

Mental wellbeing

It is not only written comprehension, vocabulary and knowledge that are improved through reading. Other studies have shown that reading has benefits for both your physical and mental health . Similar to doing yoga, reading can reduce stress and has been shown to reduce a person’s blood pressure and heart rate.

Benefits of reading

An article published on discussed the broad-reaching value of books and benefits of reading such as:

  • Reading strengthens your brain;
  • Reading increases your ability to empathise;
  • Reading helps to prevent age-related cognitive decline;
  • Reading can help to alleviate depressive symptoms;
  • Reading might even help you to live longer;
  • Reading prepares you for a good night’s sleep.

Reading and a good night’s sleep

The connection between reading and a good night’s sleep has been explored in other studies. Reading can be part of a regular sleep routine however studies do caution that print-based reading is preferred as prolonged use of screens close to bedtime can interrupt or have a negative impact on the quality of sleep.

Bonding with children

Finally, but equally importantly, reading can be a great way to bond with children. This can build positive associations with books and children will find reading enjoyable later in life. Reading at home can boost a child’s performance at school, increase their self-esteem, and improve their communication skills.

The value of books

The positive benefits of reading are numerous. Reading can be a source of pleasure, relaxation, learning, or all three. Ask friends or relatives for recommendations, or pop down to your local library to check out their most recent offerings, then grab a cuppa, sit back, get reading and reap the rewards!

  • [i] Delgado, P., Vargas, C., Ackerman, R., & Salmerón, L. (2018), “Don’t throw away your printed books: A meta-analysis on the effects of reading media on reading comprehension.” Educational Research Review, 25, 23-38.
  • [ii] Kong, Y., Seo, Y. S., & Zhai, L. (2018), “Comparison of reading performance on screen and on paper: A meta-analysis.” Computers & Education, 123, 138-149.
  • [iii] Stanborough, R. (2019), “Benefits Of Reading Books: For Your Physical And Mental Health.” Healthline.
  • [iv] Mayo Clinic, (2020), 6 Steps To Better Sleep.
  • [v] Chang, A. M., Aeschbach, D., Duffy, J. F., & Czeisler, C. A. (2015), “Evening use of light-emitting eReaders negatively affects sleep, circadian timing, and next-morning alertness.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(4), 1232–1237.
  • [vi] Scholastic Corporation. (2014), Kids & Family Reading Report (5th Edition).
  • [vii] Rizzolo, D., Zipp, G. P., Stiskal, D., & Simpkins, S. (2009), “Stress management strategies for students: The immediate effects of yoga, humor, and reading on stress.” Journal of College Teaching & Learning (TLC), 6(8).

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7 Best Books to Help You Find the Meaning of Life

Meaning of life books

What aims should we pursue to live a fulfilling life?

There is no more important topic than the meaning of our lives. Many thinkers, past and present, have grappled with it (Baggini, 2005; & Eagleton, 2007.)

Broadly speaking, the theorists of meaning fall into two camps. Some believe that life has no intrinsic meaning and that we must construct our meanings ourselves. The meaning of life, they argue, is a subjective affair.

Others maintain that there is an absolute meaning to our existence. But they tend to disagree on what that meaning might be. The most cited contenders are happiness and love. Other common suggestions include self-realization, relationships, pleasure, service, and creativity.

The list below includes thinkers from both sides of the argument. I hope you will find it enlightening.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Meaning and Valued Living Exercises for free . These creative, science-based exercises will help you learn more about your values, motivations, and goals and will give you the tools to inspire a sense of meaning in the lives of your clients, students, or employees.

This Article Contains:

1. man’s search for meaning – viktor frankl, 2. of human freedom – epictetus.

  • 3. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living – Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler 

4. The Happiness Trap – Russ Harris

5. aristotle’s way: how ancient wisdom can change your life – edith hall, 6. the power of now: a guide to spiritual enlightenment – eckhart tolle, 7. altruism: the science and psychology of kindness – matthieu ricard, a take-home message.

Man's Search for Meaning

Frankl argues that our primary task in life is to furnish it with meaning, whatever form this may take. We must find meaning even in our suffering, he writes, for otherwise we are lost.

In the autobiographical section of his deeply moving book, Frankl relates that those who managed to stay in touch with what made their lives meaningful in the Nazi extermination camps were more likely to survive. Their personal meanings took many different forms. It could be a strong desire to return to a beloved person, complete a creative or intellectual project, or simply the strong wish to help others.

If there is a potent “why” that drives us, Frankl declares, paraphrasing Nietzsche, we can tolerate almost any “how.”

Frankl believes that we can discover the meaning of life in three main areas: “(1) by doing a deed or creating a work; (2) by encountering someone or experiencing something; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering” (Frankl 2004, p. 115).

The meaning of our lives can be creativity in the broad sense of the word. This includes creative works but also merely making something, learning something, or being productive. Meaning can also be found in the experience of love and the appreciation of beauty, excellence, culture, and nature.

Crucially, Frankl (2004, p. 115) argues that meaning has to be located outside ourselves. It has to be discovered in the world rather than in our own psyches. “ Being human ,” he writes, “ always points, and is directed, to something, or someone, other than oneself – be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. ”

Frankl’s existentialist approach , then, invites us to let go of our obsession with ourselves and of values such as self-realization, self-improvement, and happiness. Instead, he urges us to focus on meanings that lie outside the boundaries of our own psyches.

Find the book on Amazon .

For more on existentialism, listen to our Meaning & Existential Positive Psychology Podcast .

Of Human Freedom

All suffering, he holds, is in our minds. It is not caused by external events but by our reactions to those events – by our faulty judgments and unrealistic expectations.

Because most external events are beyond our control, Epictetus believed that it is pointless to worry about them. But our evaluations of these events, by contrast, are entirely within our control. It follows that we should not attach significance to any external phenomena or circumstance. Instead, all our mental energies should be directed inward, with a view to controlling our minds.

Epictetus believed that we should rationally evaluate our cognitions at all times and simply reason ourselves out of upsetting emotional states. He suggested installing a rational fact-checker in our heads, whose task it is to keep our mental state balanced and calm. If this sounds familiar, that’s because Stoic thought is the ancient precursor of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

Epictetus’s essay Of Human Freedom is a beautiful and concise introduction to Stoic wisdom. He writes about “ Concerning what is in our power and what is not ,” “ How a person can preserve their proper character in any situation ,” “ On satisfaction ,” and “ How we should struggle with circumstance .” He reminds us that “ Every circumstance represents an opportunity .”

The more we value things beyond our control, the less control we have. Freedom is, therefore, “ not achieved by satisfying desire but by eliminating it ” (Epictetus, 2010, p. 81). Life is suffering; bad things will happen, Epictetus asserts.

When they do, we can use our bad luck to test our resolve and strengthen our resilience. “ So when trouble comes, think of yourself as a wrestler whom God, like a trainer, has paired with a tough young buck. For what purpose? To turn you into Olympic-class material ” (Epictetus, 2010, p. 14).

The Stoics’ ultimate aim is control. They want to be the masters in their own house so that they become completely invincible to the many blows that fortune has in store for us. Essentially, they pursue a radical kind of inner freedom that grants full autonomy from external events. Honing a Stoic mindset, they believe, is our most noble purpose in life. The prize is inner peace.

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3. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living – Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler

The Art of Happiness

In this book, he presents Buddhist thought as a comprehensive framework for ethical self-improvement.

Through effort and practice, and by adopting basic Buddhist assumptions about the world, the Dalai Lama believes we can cultivate happiness, wellbeing, and compassion.

Cutler supplements the Dalai Lama’s ancient wisdom with anecdotes from his psychiatric practice, as well as with neuroscientific arguments about brain plasticity . This combination of modern science and ancient thought is powerful.

Buddhism, Cutler and the Dalai Lama argue, offers an effective psychological, philosophical, and spiritual framework for transforming the self, above all through practicing compassion. In fact, the Dalai Lama declares kindness the very essence of his religion.

However, Buddhist happiness also entails a critical cognitive dimension. To achieve true happiness, we have to embrace the insight that our notion of a permanent and separate self is an illusion and that this very notion is the cause for much of our suffering.

Penguin lecture 2011 – the art of happiness – Dalai Lama

The Happiness Trap

His international bestseller, The Happiness Trap,  is based on the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Unlike the Stoics and CBT, ACT does not encourage us rationally to challenge our negative thoughts and feelings. Instead, it asks us simply to recognize and accept them, and then to let them go.

Together with present-moment awareness, value-based living, and taking committed action, ACT suggests acceptance as the healthy alternative to counterproductive attempts to control our unproductive thoughts.

Our default mode is not happy, Harris argues. We should simply accept this fact rather than wasting all our energy on fighting it.

Evolution has shaped our brains in such a way that we are now hardwired to suffer psychologically. For millennia, our minds have been trained to predict, detect, and avoid danger. The better we were at that task, the more likely we were to survive.

As a result, our minds are now constantly on alert, assessing and judging everything we encounter. But what used to be a crucial survival skill in the age of the saber-toothed tiger has turned into a curse in the social media age.

Now, we simply cannot stop comparing, evaluating, and criticizing ourselves, focusing on what we lack, growing dissatisfied with what we possess, and imagining “ all sorts of frightening scenarios, most of which will never happen ” (Harris, 2008, p. 5). What makes matters even worse is that our naturally edgy and slightly anxious state of mind has been pathologized in our feel-good society.

We are not just naturally unhappy, but also constantly made to feel guilty about it, which makes matters worse. Harris (2008) argues that we have far less control over our thoughts and feelings than we like to think. The idea that we can cure ourselves by controlling our unwanted thoughts is simply an illusion.

Willpower is a limited resource, and it is much better to manage our condition than to expend all our energy on trying to avoid or change bad thoughts. Instead, we should simply observe and accept them and then try to let them go. We can then invest our energies in what truly matters: leading a value-based life and taking committed action.

Aristotle’s Way

Our primary function as human beings, Aristotle believed, is rational activity in accordance with virtue. Aristotelian happiness, then, is inextricably linked to repeated virtuous action.

To realize our potential, we have to work on our behavior and emotional responses to become the best versions of ourselves. Aristotle strongly believed that we can train ourselves to be good by strengthening our virtues and controlling our vices.

A happy state of mind, he wrote in the Nicomachean Ethics , comes “ from habitually doing the right thing ” (Hall, 2018, p. 7). Aristotle, then, already knew about the vital power of habit. Rather than teaching and intellectual understanding, he considered habituation as the primary route to moral virtue.

In Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life (2018), the classical scholar Edith Hall presents a charming and robust case for the relevance of Aristotle’s virtue ethics as a timeless self-help framework. It can also function as a powerful guide to the meaning of life.

Hall highlights that Aristotle’s idea of the good life ( eudaimonia ) emphasizes our moral responsibility for our actions. We have to actively “do” eudaimonia, because “f or Aristotle, happiness is activity ” (Hall, 2018, p. 26).

The Power of Now

But truly being present is far from a simple matter. The key to living in the present, Tolle writes, is to stop identifying with our minds and the stream of involuntary and incessant thinking we tend to take as our personal essence.

Instead, we have to practice adopting the position of a disinterested observer, watching our minds chatter away, but without taking the chatter too seriously.

Our true essence, then, is not to be found in our shifting emotions or compulsive thinking, but in what lies behind it. Like the Buddhists, Tolle believes that our very notion of self is an illusion, a fiction of the mind that we need to let go. We need to learn to witness our thought patterns rather than identify with them.

Most of our thoughts and emotions revolve around the past or our future. Our past furnishes us with an identity and narratives of cause and effect. Our future, in turn, “ holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form ” (Tolle, 1999, p. 40). But both are illusions.

We need to practice withdrawing our attention from the past and the future and instead be present as “watchers” of our minds. Watching is all we need to do, and it includes refraining from analyzing and judging.

Tolle (1999) writes that the present moment is all we ever have. The now is not only the most precious thing there is, but it is also the only thing there is. “ Give attention to the present ,” he urges, “ give attention to your behavior, to your reactions, moods, thoughts, emotions, fears, and desires as they occur in the present ” (Tolle, 1999, p. 75). Tolle sees this exclusive focus on the present as the royal road to our salvation.

As he puts it:

True salvation is a state of freedom – from fear, from suffering, from a perceived state of lack and insufficiency and therefore from all wanting, needing, grasping, and clinging. It is freedom from compulsive thinking, from negativity, and above all from past and future as a psychological need (Tolle, 1999, p. 122).

There is nothing we can ever do or attain, Tolle writes, that will get us closer to salvation than this moment. By freeing ourselves from our enslavement to our minds, we can radically transform our consciousness. And this radical transformation of consciousness is precisely what is needed to save not only ourselves but also humanity at large and our planet.

Altruism: The Science and Psychology of Kindness

He believes that the meaning of our lives is to practice altruism.

Altruism is the desire to ensure the good of others and to care for them in a benevolent way. Its Christian form (agape) is unconditional love for everyone – for ourselves, our neighbors, and our enemies. But Buddhists go even further, wishing for the happiness of all sentient beings.

In Altruism: The Science and Psychology of Kindness , Ricard (2015) argues that the wider our circle of care is extended and the more unconditional and inclusive it becomes, the more genuine our altruism is.

We all have a biological tendency to care for the wellbeing of our children, our relatives, and the people who are kind to us. But we must cultivate the art of extending our altruism much further. “ The quality and validity of an ethic increases with its degree of universality, ” Ricard writes (2015, p. 154).

In most religions, altruism is the highest moral and spiritual value. Ricard presents altruism as the solution to all our problems – social, economic, and environmental. Altruism, he writes, “ is the Ariadne’s thread allowing us to connect harmoniously the challenges of the economy in the short term, quality of life in the mean term, and our future environment in the long term ” (Ricard, 2015, p. 691).

Buddhist altruism has two faces: loving-kindness and compassion. Buddhists desire not only that all beings find happiness, but also that they understand the causes of that happiness as well as those causes of suffering. There is, then, an important insight-oriented dimension to Buddhist altruism. In other words, it is not just a matter of the heart, but also a matter of our rational brains.

Furthermore, as numerous psychologists have shown, engaging in altruistic acts not only makes others happier; it also makes the one performing the act happier. It is, then, an ancient win–win behavior.

You will no doubt have noticed that some of the ideas on what constitutes the meaning of life explored above are in contradiction. Some, such as Epictetus and Tolle, argue that we can find meaning inside our selves, by shoring up our defenses against the blows of fortune and by being present.

Frankl, Aristotle, Harris, and Ricard, by contrast, argue that meaning has to be located outside our own psyches. We need to do valuable deeds, they maintain, and engage in meaningful and virtuous interactions with others. The Dalai Lama and Ricard propose that our purpose in life is practicing kindness and altruism. Aristotle and Epictetus favor virtuous self-cultivation. All of them present persuasive cases.

The lesson from all of this is both banal and profound. Meaning is subjective. It cannot be imposed. It has to be discovered or created. There is no one-size-fits-all meaning we can simply adopt.

Some prescriptions and suggestions may resonate with us; others won’t. But I fully agree with Frankl that there is no more pressing task than to start the work of identifying what makes life meaningful for us. And when we know what is most meaningful to us, we must ensure that our lives are dedicated to serving these meanings and that we create the best possible conditions for realizing them.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Meaning and Valued Living Exercises for free .

  • Baggini, J. (2005). What’s it all about? Philosophy and the meaning of life. Oxford University Press.
  • Dalai Lama & Cutler, H. C. (2009). The art of happiness: A handbook for living. Hodder & Stoughton.
  • Eagleton, T. (2007). The meaning of life: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press.
  • Epictetus & Dobbin, R. (Trans.) (2010). Of human freedom. Penguin.
  • Frankl, V. E. (1946, 2004). Man’s search for meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust. Rider.
  • Hall, E. (2018). Aristotle’s way: How ancient wisdom can transform your life. Bodley Head.
  • Harris, R. (2008). The happiness trap. Based on ACT: A revolutionary mindfulness-based programme for overcoming stress, anxiety, and depression. Robinson.
  • Ricard, M. (2015).  Altruism: The power of compassion to change yourself and the world. Little, Brown and Company.
  • Tolle, E. (1999). The power of now: A guide to spiritual enlightenment. Hodder & Stoughton.

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What our readers think.

Joyce Fletcher

Wonderfully helpful. Thank you for these tips 🙏 ❤

Kate Walker

There is nothing more transformative then a relationship with Jesus. Why leave Him out A discussion without His input is lifeless. I respect the other authors you included but my Soul was not engaged.

Shawn Goldman

Thanks for this great list, but why no books from a Christian perspective? Christianity has been the most influential meaning making system of Western culture. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila and the writings of the Philokalia challenge and encourage us to make meaning in our lives. Oh, the Gospels too.


Thank you for the list. My son is in a battle with depression, desperately searching for meaning or a higher purpose.

Gloria Ives

Thank you so much for this list and summary of the various philosophies on meaning. I have some new books now to read

Henry Chang

Great books. Would like to keep a set for my office and library so that more people could share the brilliance of the authors.

SHIMI Mohamed

How about adding Islam it gives us a meaning of life we are not here only for happiness WE are here for test


Nice list of great books. I have read most of them.

You can include the Holy Bible to the list. Many people including myself found the meaning of life through that great book.

Uli Hudak

How about adding the Bible to your list of books to find meaning to life?


Ahahahahaahaha hahahahaaha joke of the year 😀 Hahaha that was super funny! 😀

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Some of humankind's greatest tools have been forged in the research laboratory. Who could argue that medical advances like antibiotics, blood transfusions, and pacemakers have not improved the quality of people's lives? But with each new technological breakthrough there comes an array of consequences, at once predicted and unpredictable, beneficial and hazardous.

Outcry over recent developments in the reproductive and genetic sciences has revealed deep fissures in society's perception of biotechnical progress. Many are concerned that reckless technological development, driven by consumerist impulses and greedy entrepreneurialism, has the potential to radically shift the human condition—and not for the greater good. Biotechnology and the Human Good builds a case for a stewardship deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian theism to responsibly interpret and assess new technologies in a way that answers this concern.

The authors jointly recognize humans not as autonomous beings but as ones accountable to each other, to the world they live in, and to God. They argue that to question and critique how fields like cybernetics, nanotechnology, and genetics might affect our future is not anti-science, anti-industry, or anti-progress, but rather a way to promote human flourishing, common sense, and good stewardship.

A synthetic work drawing on the thought of a physician, ethicists, and a theologian, Biotechnology and the Human Good reminds us that although technology is a powerful and often awe-inspiring tool, it is what lies in the heart and soul of who wields this tool that truly makes the difference in our world.

front cover of Boggs

In The Challenge of the Social and the Pressure of Practice, philosophers, sociologists, and historians of science offer a multidisciplinary view of the complex interrelationships of values in science and society in both contemporary and historic contexts. They analyze the impact of commercialization and politicization on epistemic aspirations, and, conversely, the ethical dilemmas raised by “practically relevant” science in today's society. For example, much scientific research over the past quarter century has been guided by the financing that supports it. What effect has this had on the quality of research produced and the advancement of real knowledge?

The contributors reveal how social values affect objectivity, theory, and the direction of inquiry, and examine the byproducts of external value systems in topics such as “expertise” and “socially robust knowledge,” among others. They view science's own internal value systems, the earlier disconnection of societal values from the scientific process, and the plausibility of “value free” science.

The Challenge of the Social and the Pressure of Practice presents an in-depth analysis that places the role of values at the center of philosophical debate and raises questions of morality, credibility, and the future role of values in scientific inquiry.

front cover of Class and Conformity

If philosophy has any business in the world, it is the clarification of our thinking and the clearing away of ideas that cloud the mind. In this book, one of the world's preeminent philosophers takes issue with an idea that has found an all-too-prominent place in popular culture and philosophical thought: the idea that while factual claims can be rationally established or refuted, claims about value are wholly subjective, not capable of being rationally argued for or against. Although it is on occasion important and useful to distinguish between factual claims and value judgments, the distinction becomes, Hilary Putnam argues, positively harmful when identified with a dichotomy between the objective and the purely "subjective." Putnam explores the arguments that led so much of the analytic philosophy of language, metaphysics, and epistemology to become openly hostile to the idea that talk of value and human flourishing can be right or wrong, rational or irrational; and by which, following philosophy, social sciences such as economics have fallen victim to the bankrupt metaphysics of Logical Positivism. Tracing the problem back to Hume's conception of a "matter of fact" as well as to Kant's distinction between "analytic" and "synthetic" judgments, Putnam identifies a path forward in the work of Amartya Sen. Lively, concise, and wise, his book prepares the way for a renewed mutual fruition of philosophy and the social sciences.

front cover of Common Values

French historian Alexis de Tocqueville observed that the conflict between the ideals of individualism and community defines American culture. In this groundbreaking new work, anthropologist Charles Nuckolls discovers that every culture consists of such paradoxes, thus making culture a problem that cannot be solved. He does, however, find much creative tension in these unresolvable opposites.     Nuckolls presents three fascinating case studies that demonstrate how values often are expressed in the organization of social roles. First he treats the Micronesian Ifaluks’ opposition between cooperation and self-gratification by examining the nature versus nurture debate. Nuckolls then shifts to the values of community and individual adventure by looking at the conflicts in the identities of public figures in Oklahoma. Finally, he investigates the cultural significance in the diagnostic system and practices of psychiatry in the United States. Nuckolls asserts that psychiatry treats genders differently, assigning dependence to women and independence to men and, in some cases, diagnoses the extreme forms of these values as disorders.         Nuckolls elaborates on the theory of culture that he introduced in his previous book, The Cultural Dialectics of Knowledge and Desire , which proposed that the desire to resolve conflicts is central to cultural knowledge. In Culture: A Problem that Cannot Be Solved , Nuckolls restores the neglected social science concept of values, which addresses both knowledge and motivation. As a result, he brings together cognition and psychoanalysis, as well as sociology and psychology, in his study of cultural processes.

front cover of Dance of Values

Statistics on the American family are sobering. From 1975 to 2000, one-third of all children were born to single mothers, and one-half of all marriages ended in divorce. While children from broken homes are two to three times more likely to develop behavioral and learning difficulties, two-parent families are not immune to problems. The cost of raising children has increased dramatically, and married couples with children are now twice as likely as childless couples to file for bankruptcy. Clearly, the American family is in trouble. But how this trouble started, and what should be done about it, remain hotly contested.

In a multifaceted analysis of the current state of a complex institution, Family Transformed brings together outstanding scholars from the fields of anthropology, demography, ethics, history, law, philosophy, primatology, psychology, sociology, and theology. Demonstrating that the family is both distinctive in its own right and deeply interwoven with other institutions, the authors examine the roles of education, work, leisure, consumption, legal regulation, public administration, and biology in shaping the ways we court and marry, bear and raise children, and make and break family bonds.

International in approach, this wide-ranging volume situates current American debates over sex, marriage, and family within a global framework. Weighing mounting social science evidence that supports a continued need for the nuclear family while assessing the challenges posed by new advocacy for same-sex marriage, and delegalized coupling, the authors argue that only by reintegrating the family into a just moral order of the larger community and society can we genuinely strengthen it. This means not simply upholding traditional family values but truly grasping the family's growing diversity, sustaining its coherence, and protecting its fragility for our own sake and for the common good of society.

front cover of Formalism in Ethics and Non-Formal Ethics of Values

In this era in which more women are running for public office—and when there is increased activism among women—understanding gender differences on political issues has become critical. In her cogent study, Mary-Kate Lizotte argues that assessing the gender gap in public support for policies through a values lens provides insight into American politics today. There is ample evidence that men and women differ in their value endorsements—even when taking into account factors such as education, class, race, income, and party identification .

In Gender Differences in Public Opinion, Lizotte utilizes nationally representative data, mainly from the American National Election Study, to study these gender gaps, the explanatory power of values, and the political consequences of these differences. She examines the gender differences in several policy areas such as equal rights, gun control, the death penalty, and the environment, as well as social welfare issues. The result is an insightful and revealing study of how men and women vary in their policy positions and political attitudes.

front cover of The Genesis of Values

What are the ends of economic activity? According to neoclassical theory, efficient interaction of the profit-maximizing "ideal producer" and the utility-maximizing "ideal consumer" will eventually lead to some sort of social optimum. But is that social optimum the same as human well-being? Human Well-Being and Economic Goals addresses that issue, considering such questions as:

  • Does the maximization of individual welfare really lead to social welfare?
  • How can we deal with questions of relative welfare and of equity?
  • How do we define, or at least understand, individual and social welfare?
  • And how can these things be measured, or even assessed?

Human Well-Being and Economic Goals brings together more than 75 concise summaries of the most significant literature in the field that consider issues of present and future individual and social welfare, national development, consumption, and equity. Like its predecessors in the Frontier Issues in Economic Thought series, it takes a multidisciplinary approach to economic concerns, examining their sociological, philosophical, and psychological aspects and implications as well as their economic underpinnings.

Human Well-Being and Economic Goals provides a powerful introduction to the current and historical writings that examine the concept of human well-being in ways that can help us to set goals for economic activity and judge its success. It is a valuable summary and overview for students, economists, and social scientists concerned with these issues.

front cover of Humanism Challenges Materialism in Economics and Economic History

The fox knows many things, the Greeks said, but the hedgehog knows one big thing. In his most comprehensive work, Ronald Dworkin argues that value in all its forms is one big thing: that what truth is, life means, morality requires, and justice demands are different aspects of the same large question. He develops original theories on a great variety of issues very rarely considered in the same book: moral skepticism, literary, artistic, and historical interpretation, free will, ancient moral theory, being good and living well, liberty, equality, and law among many other topics. What we think about any one of these must stand up, eventually, to any argument we find compelling about the rest. Skepticism in all its forms—philosophical, cynical, or post-modern—threatens that unity. The Galilean revolution once made the theological world of value safe for science. But the new republic gradually became a new empire: the modern philosophers inflated the methods of physics into a totalitarian theory of everything. They invaded and occupied all the honorifics—reality, truth, fact, ground, meaning, knowledge, and being—and dictated the terms on which other bodies of thought might aspire to them, and skepticism has been the inevitable result. We need a new revolution. We must make the world of science safe for value.

front cover of Kinds of Value

Governments throughout the industrialized world make decisions that fundamentally affect the quality and accessibility of medical care. In the United States, despite the absence of universal health insurance, these decisions have great influence on the practice of medicine.

In Medical Governance , David Weimer explores an alternative regulatory approach to medical care based on the delegation of decisions about the allocation of scarce medical resources to private nonprofit organizations. He investigates the specific development of rules for the U.S. organ transplant system and details the conversion of a voluntary network of transplant centers to one private rulemaker: the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN).

As the case unfolds, Weimer demonstrates that the OPTN is more efficient, nimble, and better at making evidence-based decisions than a public agency; and the OPTN also protects accountability and the public interest more than private for-profit organizations. Weimer addresses similar governance arrangements as they could apply to other areas of medicine, including medical records and the control of Medicare expenditures, making this timely and useful case study a valuable resource for debates over restructuring the U.S. health care system.

front cover of The Moral Philosophy of Dietrich von Hildebrand

In this highly original work, Robert Nozick develops new views on philosophy’s central topics and weaves them into a unified philosophical perspective. It is many years since a major work in English has ranged so widely over philosophy’s fundamental concerns: the identity of the self, knowledge and skepticism, free will, the question of why there is something rather than nothing, the foundations of ethics, the meaning of life. Writing in a distinctive and personal philosophical voice, Mr. Nozick presents a new mode of philosophizing. In place of the usual semi-coercive philosophical goals of proof, of forcing people to accept conclusions, this book seeks philosophical explanations and understanding, and thereby stays truer to the original motivations for being interested in philosophy. Combining new concepts, daring hypotheses, rigorous reasoning, and playful exploration, the book exemplifies how philosophy can be part of the humanities.

front cover of Pictorial Victorians

The Victorians were image obsessed. The middle decades of the nineteenth century saw an unprecedented growth in the picture industry. Technological advances enabled the Victorians to adorn with images the pages of their books and the walls of their homes. But this was not a wholly visual culture. Pictorial Victorians focuses on two of the most popular mid-nineteenth-century genres—illustration and narrative painting—that blurred the line between the visual and textual. Illustration negotiated text and image on the printed page, while narrative painting juxtaposed the two media in its formulation of pictorial stories. Author Julia Thomas reassesses mid-nineteenth-century values in the light of this interplay. The dialogue between word and image generates meanings that are intimately related to the Victorians' image of themselves. Illustrations in Victorian publications and the narrative scenes that lined the walls of the Royal Academy reveal the Victorians' ideas about the world in which they lived and their notions of gender, class, and race. Pictorial Victorians surveys a range of material, from representations of the crinoline, to the illustrations that accompanied Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom's Cabin and Tennyson's poetry, to paintings of adultery. It demonstrates that the space between text and image is one in which values are both constructed and questioned.

front cover of Political Peoplehood

A provocative history of the changing values that have given rise to our present discontents. We pursue power, pleasure, and profit. We want as much as we can get, and we deploy instrumental reasoning—cost-benefit analysis—to get it. We judge ourselves and others by how well we succeed. It is a way of life and thought that seems natural, inevitable, and inescapable. As David Wootton shows, it is anything but. In Power, Pleasure, and Profit , he traces an intellectual and cultural revolution that replaced the older systems of Aristotelian ethics and Christian morality with the iron cage of instrumental reasoning that now gives shape and purpose to our lives. Wootton guides us through four centuries of Western thought—from Machiavelli to Madison—to show how new ideas about politics, ethics, and economics stepped into a gap opened up by religious conflict and the Scientific Revolution. As ideas about godliness and Aristotelian virtue faded, theories about the rational pursuit of power, pleasure, and profit moved to the fore in the work of writers both obscure and as famous as Hobbes, Locke, and Adam Smith. The new instrumental reasoning cut through old codes of status and rank, enabling the emergence of movements for liberty and equality. But it also helped to create a world in which virtue, honor, shame, and guilt count for almost nothing, and what matters is success. Is our world better for the rise of instrumental reasoning? To answer that question, Wootton writes, we must first recognize that we live in its grip.

Rapid development of sophisticated new techniques has vastly increased physicians' ability to detect congenital disorders before birth. Yet advances in treatment, before or after birth, have been very modest. This discrepancy leads to ethical and social problems that require serious attention by professionals and patients alike. This innovative book tackles such problems in the case of prenatal screening for neural tube defects. Afflicting about 7,000 newborn babies each year in the United States, neural tube defects are serious abnormalities in the development of the brain and spinal cord that have grave consequences for the child and family. The editors, Elena O. Nightingale, a geneticist, physician, and expert in health policy, and Susan B. Meister, a specialist in parent-child nursing, social and developmental psychology, and quantitative methods, led a multidisciplinary effort by distinguished Harvard faculty, including economist Richard Zeckhauser and clinical decision analyst Barbara J. McNeil. Other contributors include Donald S. Shepard, Mary L. Kiely, and Stephen G. Pauker. The book examines the impact of technology assessment, cost effectiveness analysis, and decision analysis on reaching decisions about prenatal screening. The book includes a discussion of the results of formal analyses against a backdrop of our basic ethical and societal values, as well as the analyses themselves. Health care workers, policymakers, and concerned individuals will find this volume informative and thought provoking.

front cover of Property and Values

Property and Values offers a fresh look at property rights issues, bringing together scholars, attorneys, government officials, community development practitioners, and environmental advocates to consider new and more socially equitable forms of ownership. Based on a Harvard Law School conference organized by the Equity Trust, Inc., in cooperation with the American Bar Association's Commission on Homelessness and Poverty, the book:

  • explains ownership as an evolving concept, determined by social processes and changing social relations
  • challenges conventional public-private ownership categories
  • surveys recent studies on the implications of public policy on property values
  • offers examples from other cultures of ownership realities unfamiliar or forgotten in the United States
  • compares experiments in ownership/equity allocation affecting social welfare and environmental conservation

Property and Values is a thought-provoking contribution to the literature on property for planners, lawyers, government officials, resource economists, environmental managers, and social scientists as well as for students of planning, environmental law, geography, or public policy.

front cover of Rational Lives

Levin-Waldman argues that if American public policy were to be evaluated against a different set of principles—ones more closely aligned with core liberal values, especially the common good—liberalism would be in greater harmony with contemporary public opinion and thought. Liberalism rests on a moral vision of what constitutes the good life and a set of principles that can measure whether public policy accords with society's underlying philosophical principles.  Levin-Waldman faults modern liberalism for obscuring these principles through a misplaced reliance on neutrality. Liberalism, he contends, appears to have diverged from mainstream perceptions of traditional American values because policy is debated and formulated within the confines of this neutrality standard. Levin-Waldman develops a new methodology intended to take us away from the usual cost-benefit analysis and move us closer to assessing public policies in terms of what best serves the common good.  

front cover of Resources, Values, and Development

“My interest in [Max] Scheler’s critique of Kant runs back nearly a decade…. The more I read of Scheler, the more I began to see the value of a project dealing with his critique of Kant in Der Formalismus in der Ethik und die Materiale Wetethik , which would possess the virtue of focusing in a single project three important strands of philosophical interest: phenomenology, Kantianism, and ethics….

“The study is divided into six chapters and two appendices. Each of the chapters constituting the body of the work contains a brief analysis of the Kantian position or discussion of the basic questions at issue in it, an exposition of Scheler’s critique of the Kantian position and its presuppositions, and a detailed appraisal of Scheler’s critique.”—from the introduction by the author

front cover of Science and Moral Imagination

The standard way of thinking about decisions is backwards, says Ralph Keeney: people focus first on identifying alternatives rather than on articulating values. A problem arises and people react, placing the emphasis on mechanics and fixed choices instead of on the objectives that give decisionmaking its meaning. In this book, Keeney shows how recognizing and articulating fundamental values can lead to the identification of decision opportunities and the creation of better alternatives. The intent is to be proactive and to select more attractive decisions to ponder before attempting any solutions. Keeney describes specific procedures for articulating values by identifying and structuring objectives qualitatively, and he shows how to apply these procedures in various cases. He then explains how to quantify objectives using simple models of values. Such value analysis, Keeney demonstrates, can yield a full range of alternatives, thus converting decision problems into opportunities. This approach can be used to uncover hidden objectives, to direct the collection of information, to improve communication, to facilitate collective decisionmaking, and to guide strategic thinking. To illustrate these uses, Keeney shows how value-focused thinking works in many business contexts, such as designing an integrated circuit tester and managing a multibillion-dollar utility company; in government contexts, such as planning future NASA space missions and deciding how to transport nuclear waste to storage sites; and in personal contexts, such as choosing career moves and making wise health and safety decisions. An incisive, applicable contribution to the art and science of decisionmaking, Value-Focused Thinking will be extremely useful to anyone from consultants and managers to systems analysts and students.

front cover of Values and Assumptions in American Labor Law

A concise introduction to Christian ethics, this book surveys the moral values of the Catholic tradition and applies them to contemporary issues. Prominent authors address such topics as scriptural sources, reverence for human life, sexuality and intimacy, family responsibilities, the concept of peace in the modern world, economics, and Catholic higher education.

Vision and Values is both an overview of the major perspectives which inform moral decisions and a guide to how these principles interrelate. It can help readers determine how to make complex moral judgments in a Christian context as it demonstrates the vitality of the Catholic theological tradition.

front cover of Why Do We Recycle?

The earnest warnings of an impending "solid waste crisis" that permeated the 1980s provided the impetus for the widespread adoption of municipal recycling programs. Since that time America has witnessed a remarkable rise in public participation in recycling activities, including curbside collection, drop-off centers, and commercial and office programs. Recently, however, a backlash against these programs has developed. A vocal group of "anti-recyclers" has appeared, arguing that recycling is not an economically efficient strategy for addressing waste management problems.

In Why Do We Recycle? Frank Ackerman examines the arguments for and against recycling, focusing on the debate surrounding the use of economic mechanisms to determine the value of recycling. Based on previously unpublished research conducted by the Tellus Institute, a nonprofit environmental research group in Boston, Massachusetts, Ackerman presents an alternative view of the theory of market incentives, challenging the notion that setting appropriate prices and allowing unfettered competition will result in the most efficient level of recycling. Among the topics he considers are:

  • externality issues -- unit pricing for waste disposal, effluent taxes, virgin materials subsidies, advance disposal fees
  • the landfill crisis and disposal facility siting
  • container deposit ("bottle bill") legislation
  • environmental issues that fall outside of market theory
  • calculating costs and benefits of municipal recycling programs
  • life-cycle analysis and packaging policy -- Germany's "Green Dot" packaging system and producer responsibility
  • the impacts of production in extractive and manufacturing industries
  • composting and organic waste management
  • economics of conservation, and material use and long-term sustainability

Backed by empirical data and replete with specific examples, the book offers valuable guidance for municipal planners, environmental managers, and policymakers responsible for establishing and implementing recycling programs. It is also an accessible introduction to the subject for faculty, students, and concerned citizens interested in the social, economic, and ethical underpinnings of recycling efforts.


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What they're worth: the top 100 list in full

1) Ulysses by James Joyce (Shakespeare & Company, 1922), £100,000 2) The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (George Newnes, 1902) £80,000 3) Seven Pillars of Wisdom by TE Lawrence (The Oxford Times, 1922) £60,000 4) The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald (Scribner's, 1925) £50,000+++ 5) The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (privately printed, 1901) £50,000++ =6) Poems by WH Auden (Privately Printed, 1928) £30,000 =6) The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (Scribner's, 1926) £30,000 8) Brighton Rock by Graham Greene (Heinemann, 1938) £25,000++ =9) The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (Knopf, 1930) £25,000+ =9) Night and Day by Virginia Woolf (Duckworth, 1919) £25,000+ =9) Three Stories & Ten Poems by Ernest Hemingway (Contact Publishing, 1923) £25,000+ =9) A Lume Spento by Ezra Pound (privately printed, 1908) £25,000+ =13) In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway (Three Mountains Press, 1924) £25,000 =13) Nine Experiments by SHS by Stephen Spender (privately printed, 1928) £25,000 =13) The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (Unwin, 1937) £25,000 =16) Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf (Hogarth Press, 1922) £20,000 - £25,000 =16) Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs (McClurg, 1914) £20,000 - £25,000 =18) The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (Jonathan Cape, 1929) £20,000+ =18) After Two Years by Graham Greene (The Rosaio Press, 1949) £20,000+ =18) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (The Egoist Press, 1917) £20,000+ =18) The Blue Guitar by David Hockney (Petersburg Press, 1976-7) £20,000+ =18) The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (John Lane, 1920) £20,000+ 23) Casino Royale by Ian Fleming (Jonathan Cape, 1953) £15,000 - £20,000 =24) The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (Unwin, 1954/5) £15,000+ =24) Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett (Knopf, 1929) £15,000+ =24) A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu by Marcel Proust (Bernard Grasset/La Nouvelle Revue Francaise, 1913-27) £15,000+ =24) A Quinzaine for This Yule by Ezra Pound (Pollock & Co, 1908) £15,000+ =28) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum (Geo. M. Hill Co, 1900) £15,000 =28) Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald (Scribner's, 1934) £15,000 =28) Vision in Spring (privately printed, 1921), The Marble Faun (Four Seas, 1926), Soldier's Pay (Boni & Liveright, 1926), all by William Faulkner , £15,000 =28) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling (Bloomsbury, 1997) £15,000 =28) Cup of Gold by John Steinbeck (McBride, US, 1929) £15,000 =28) Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (Hogarth Press, 1925) £15,000 34) Rumour at Nightfall by Graham Greene (Heinemann, 1931) £12,000 - £15,000 =35) The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett (Knopf, 1929) £10,000 - £15,000 =35) More Pricks Than Kicks by Samuel Beckett (Chatto & Windus, 1934) £10,000 - £15,000 =35) Two Stories by Virginia Woolf and LS Woolf (Hogarth Press, 1917) £10,000 - £15,000 =38) Dandy No.1 (D.C. Thomson, 1937, with 'Express Whistler'), Beano No.1 (D.C. Thomson, 1938, with Whoopee mask), both £12,000+ =38) The Bridge by Hart Crane (1930) £12,000+ =38) The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie (The Bodley Head, 1923) £12,000+ =38) The World to Come by Evelyn Waugh (Westminster Press, 1916) £12,000+ =41) To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (Hogarth Press, 1927) £12,000 =41) Quaint Fragment by Lawrence Durrell (Cecil Press, 1931) £12,000 44) The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter (privately printed, 1902, ) £10,000 - £12,000 =45) Camera Obscura by Vladimir Nabokov (Long, 1936) £10,000+ =45) Poirot Investigates (The Bodley Head, 1924) and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Collins, 1926), both by Agatha Christie , £10,000+ =45) The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (Little Brown, 1951) £10,000+ =45) This Side of Paradise by F Scott Fitzgerald (Scribner's, 1920) £10,000+ 49) The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (Blackwood, 1915) £8,500 - £10,000+ =50) The Peter Pan Portfolio by JM Barrie (Hodder & Stoughton, 1912) £10,000 =50) The Pyramids by Rupert Brooke (Rugby Press, 1904) £10,000 =50) Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (Harcourt, 1920) £10,000 53) Lady Chatterley's Lover by DH Lawrence (1928) £8,000 - £10,000 =54) Despair by Vladimir Nabokov (Long, 1937) £7,000 - £10,000 =54) Kew Gardens by Virginia Woolf (Hogarth Press, 1919) £7,000 - £10,000 =54) East of the Sun and West of the Moon by Kay Neilsen (illustrator) (Hodder & Stoughton, 1914) £7,000 - £10,000 57) The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin (Warne, 1903/4) and The Tale of Benjamin Bunny (Warne, 1904), both by Beatrix Potter , £7,000 - £9,000 58) Vile Bodies (Chapman & Hall, 1930) and Brideshead Revisted (Chapman & Hall, 1945) both by Evelyn Waugh , £8,000+ 59) Murphy by Samuel Beckett (Routledge, 1938) £6,000 - £8,000 60) Winnie-the-Pooh by AA Milne (1926) £7,500 60) Prufrock and Other Observations (The Egoist Ltd., 1917) and Poems (Hogarth Press, 1919) both by TS Eliot , £7,500+ 62) The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis (Geoffrey Bles, 1950) £6,000 - £7,500 =63) England Made Me (Heinemann, 1935), A Gun for Sale (Heinemann, 1936) and The Power and the Glory (Heinemann, 1940) both by Graham Greene , £7,000+ =63) On The Road by Jack Kerouac (Viking, 1957) £7,000+ =63) Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming (Jonathan Cape, 1954) £7,000+ =66) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Lippincott, 1960) £6,000+ =66) En Attendant Godot by Samuel Beckett (Editions de Minuit, 1952) £6,000+ =66) Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence (Duckworth, 1913) £6,000+ =66) The Secret Adversary (The Bodley Head, 1922), The Man in the Brown Suit (The Bodley Head, 1924), The Secret of Chimneys (The Bodley Head, 1925), The Big Four (Collins, 1927), The Mystery of the Blue Train (Collins, 1928) and The Sittaford Mystery (Collins, 1931) , all by Agatha Christie , £6,000+ =66) The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (Knopf, 1939) £6,000+ =66) The Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller (Obelisk Press, 1934) £6,000+ =66) Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh (Chapman & Hall, 1928) £6,000+ =73) Call For the Dead by John Le Carre (Gollancz, 1961) £6,000 =73) When We Were Very Young by AA Milne (Methuen, 1924) £6,000 =75) Journey Without Maps (Heinemann, 1936), The Confidential Agent (Heinemann, 1939) and The Ministry of Fear (Heinemann, 1943), all by Graham Greene, £4,000 - £6,000 =75) The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle (Warne, 1905), The Pie and the Patty-Pan (Warne, 1905), The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher (Warne, 1906), The Tale of Tom Kitten (Warne, 1907), The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck (Warne, 1908), The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies (Warne, 1909), The Tale of Mrs Tittlemouse (Warne, 1910) and The Fairy Caravan (privately printed, 1929) all by Beatrix Potter , £4,000 - £6,000 =75) The Globe By The Way Book by PG Wodehouse (Globe Publishing Co, 1908) £4,000 - £6,000 78) The Rainbow by DH Lawrence (Methuen, 1915) £5,500+ =79) The Murder at the Vicarage (Collins, 1930), Murder on the Orient Express (Collins, 1934), Peril at End House (Collins, 1932), The Thirteen Problems (Collins, 1932), The Listerdale Mystery (Collins, 1934), Lord Edgware Dies (Collins, 1933) and The Seven Dials Mystery (Collins, 1929) all by Agatha Christie , £5,000+ =79) On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Ian Fleming (Jonathan Cape, 1963) £5,000+ =79) The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (Methuen, 1908) £5,000+ =79) The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett (Knopf, 1931) £5,000+ =79) Dubliners by James Joyce (Grant Richards, 1914) £5,000+ =79) King Kong by Delos W Lovelace (Grosset & Dunlap, 1932) £5,000+ =79) The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (Collin Smythe, 1983) £5,000+ =79) The Roman Hat Mystery by Ellery Queen (Stokes, US, 1929) £5,000+ =79) The Pastures of Heaven by John Steinbeck (Brewer, Warren & Putnam, 1932) £5,000+ =79) The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (Heinemann, 1922) £5,000+ 89) Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome (Jonathan Cape, 1930) £5,000 =90) Greenmantle by John Buchan (Hodder & Stoughton, 1916) £4,000 - £5,000 =90) Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Faber, 1954) £4,000 - £5,000 =90) Something Fresh by PG Wodehouse (Methuen, 1915) £4,000 - £5,000 =93) Parker Pyne Investigates (Collins, 1934), The ABC Murders (Collins, 1936), Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (Collins, 1934) all by Agatha Christie , £4,000+ =93) Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Macmillan, 1936) £4,000+ =93) Whose Body? by Dorothy L Sayers (Unwin, 1923) £4,000+ =93) The Man With Two Left Feet by PG Wodehouse (Methuen, 1917) £4,000+ =97) Babbling April (Blackwell, 1925) and The Name of Action (Heinemann, 1930) by Graham Greene , £4,000 =97) Chamber Music by James Joyce (Elkin Mathews, 1907) £4,000 =97) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (Viking, US, 1962) £4,000 =97) Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (Scholastic, 1995) £4,000

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