I've been working on a long term project called Spring Cleaning. I say long term because I actually started this particular project back in winter. And given that Chicago had exactly 2 hours and 35 minutes of actual spring this year, I will take that to mean that it is Spring only in name and I can start/finish it at my leisure.
One of the things I'm doing is getting rid of a lot of stuff I keep carrying around. Part of that stuff is a lot of books. I'd forgotten how many of these I had and I noticed this weekend that I had a large number of the "_______ for Dummies" books. My first one was back in 1999 when I first moved to California and it was Investing for Dummies. I must have either been a real dummy or lost interest pretty quickly as I don't remember finishing the book. However, I did find that the premise and layout of the books were very favorable and were an easy read...unless it was about investing apparently.
Over the years whenever my interest in something peaked enough to go beyond the initial "Hmmmm... that's interesting" I found myself going to the book store and the first level of research would begin with one of the Dummies books.
They are a great source of general information. You may not learn every little detail about a subject, but you'll learn a very good, general overview of the subject. The authors are always very conversational, but never talk down to the reader. They do treat the topic as if you don't know anything about it to start, but they also say that (in most topics) you can skip around the book and not lose anything for not reading straight through.
The Dummies website even has online 'how-to' information like today's top topics, "How to Zest citrus fruit" and "How to play music on your iPod" These may sound simplistic and stupid, but I didn't know how to zest citrus and if my Mom were alive, she'd have watched that iPod video about 5 times before she tried it. (Never was one to just dive in, she actually read the owner's manuals.... go figure)
So if you're curious about something, go look into the Dummies books. While I'm no expert, I can safely say I know far more about Investing, Creating a Business Plan, Starting a Not-for-Profit organization, Judaism, Law School, the LSAT and Writing a Novel than I did before I admitted that Yeah, I'm a Dummy.