“I Paid for All This Didn’t I? Didn’t I!”

Read a funny little story on the internet today.

It was in reply to something someone else said about whether or not buffet restaurants care if you try to take out food.

It went…

“I once supervised in an events space where the client ordered a buffet for her group. At the end of the party she requested “to go” boxes. I tried to politely explain the concept of all you can eat vs. all you can eat & carry out. She screeched: “I paid for all this didn’t I? Didn’t I!” We caved in and gave her some containers.”


Reading this makes me cringe in embarrassment.

I occasionally see the same thing myself.

For example, my Kindle books very rarely get negative reviews. But all the ones I do have are for EXACTLY the same reason.

“Too short book.”

“Only 42 pages?”

Now, the thing is, if you care how long the book is, you shouldn’t buy it.

A book is like a lady’s skirt.

It should be long enough to cover the important bits, but short enough to be interesting.

Just like if all you care about is getting the most for your money, you shouldn’t book a buffet for your event. You book it because it’s convenient and so you don’t have to worry about people who can or can’t eat certain things.

Frankly, that woman should have been grateful for such a service.

Where’s the respect?

Respect for the service the business is being good enough to offer.

I mean, each of my books solves a specific problem common to English learners.

Think English, Speak English is about stopping mental translation.

Fearless Fluency about confidence.

And my latest in the “Advanced English Learning” series, English Learning Done Right, shows you how to learn without all the forgetting.

If I can fix a problem in 40 or so pages, why read 400?

What value is there to be gained in reading an extra several hundred pages? Or if you go to a buffet and just eat until your sick “because you paid for it”, are you really enjoying it?

Doubt it.

Value for money is (or should be) measured in terms of the value you get from what you learn — not the amount of stuff you get.

Same with a buffet, same with a book.

All my books are available on Amazon, including my recent one: English Learning Done Right – How your brain wants you to learn English (or indeed any other skill) so it NEVER forgets.


P.S. Notably, my main book, Master English FAST is 200 pages long.


Because it’s my core system and it needed more pages to cover everything. Simple as that.

ELDR is considerably shorter…

but don’t let that stop you getting a copy.



Meet the Author

Julian Northbrook

Julian Northbrook is an unconventional punk of the business English learning world. A leading expert in English education and direct response marketing, he’s fully equipped to drag you kicking and screaming from English-mediocracy to speaking at an outstanding level. After being turned down for his dream job in the art industry, Julian suffered three long years as a crap Japanese speaker. He understands exactly what it’s like to feel like a total idiot every time you speak. But Julian overcame his language problems, mastered the language, and went on to work first as a freelance translator, then as an executive member of a Japanese company. But he soon grew sick of the corporate world and left it to pursue something infinitely more satisfying — running his own business helping small business owners and entrepreneurs get so good at English that they forget that it’s not their first language. He writes the infamous Doing English Daily Newsletter which you can (and should) subscribe to.