A letter to Independent Booksellers from Noreena Hertz

September 10, 2013


Dear Independent Bookseller,

Throughout our lives we are confronted with high stake decisions – from who to marry to whether to set up our own business, from how best to save for retirement to which doctor’s advice to follow.

Yet curiously we give little thought to how it is we make such big decisions and how we could improve upon our own decision making skills.

Instead, we tend to fall back on a few decision-making heuristics – we hand over our decision-making to experts, go with what feels right, repeat what was successful for us in the past.

Yet doctors misdiagnose one time out of six. Our guts are easily confused by a whole host of factors including colours, touch and language. And I don’t need to tell you, as booksellers, how unreliable the past can be as a lodestar.

For the sake of our health, wealth, relationships and the future security of ourselves and those we care for we need to become wiser decision makers capable of taking control of big decisions ourselves – it’s a matter of self empowerment. I know this from personal experience.

Indeed my motivation for writing this book was initially personal, struck down with a debilitating illness, confronted with a number of experts each of whom were convinced that their diagnosis and treatment strategy was right, it was left to me to  decide who to trust, who to follow, and what to do.

Eyes Wide Open is the book I wish I’d had access to back then. It’s the product of six years of investigating the latest thinking in economics, psychology and sociology on why it is we make the choices we do. I’ve spent time with leading neuroscientists establishing what happens in our brains when we make decisions. I’ve interviewed Hollywood moguls and ER doctors, Buddhist monks and fighter jet pilots. I’ve reflected too on the advice I’ve given and predictions I’ve made in my own academic and advisory work. Thus I’ve pieced together a decision making tool kit, fit for purpose in this digital age in which we all now can be information hunter gathers and access information direct from source ourselves.
Please do let me know if there is anything I can do to help support Eyes Wide Open in your shop. I’m passionate about independent bookshops – so please do ask.

Warm regards,



Eyes Wide Open, Noreena Hertz, Independent Booksellers, Independent BookshopsEYES WIDE OPEN: How to Make Smart Decisions in a Confusing World by Noreena Hertz


12 Sep 2013

William Collins

£14.99 HB

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