The Precious Present

The Precious Present

by Spencer Johnson


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Discover the precious present and find yourself!

A simple story, engagingly told, The Precious Present does more than capture the heart; it is a valuable gift for anyone seeking a deeper level of fulfillment and personal happiness.

Telling a story of vital significance in today's fast-paced, competitive environment, The Precious Present will help you discover the joy in life we all seek—whether we go to Wall Street or around the world to find it.

Just as Spencer Johnson's bestseller The One Minute Manager helped rehumanize the workplace around the world, The Precious Present helps each reader rediscover his or her own humanity.  This beautiful tale demonstrates the delicate art of balancing your spiritual and material needs, and shows how this goal can be maddeningly elusive—and gloriously attainable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385468053
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/28/1984
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 45,340
Product dimensions: 5.67(w) x 8.51(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

Spencer Johnson, M.D., is the author of several New York Times bestsellers, including The One Minute Manager, all in the entertaining style of a parable that contains useful information readers can use in their own lives.  There are more than thirteen million copies of his books in print in over twenty-five languages.

Dr. Johnson's education includes a psychology degree from the University of Southern California, an M.D. from the Royal College of Surgeons and medical clerkships at Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic.

Date of Birth:

January 1, 1940

Place of Birth:

South Dakota


B.A. in psychology, University of Southern California, 1963; M.D., Royal College of Surgeons

Read an Excerpt

Once there was a boy. . . who listened to an old man.

And, thus, began to learn about The Precious Present.

"It is a present because it is a gift," the contented man explained.

And it is called The Precious Present, because it is the best present of all.

When the boy asked why, the old man explained.

"It is the best present a person can receive because anyone who receives such a gift is happy forever."

"Wow!" the little boy exclaimed. "I hope someone gives me The Precious Present. Maybe I'll get it for Christmas."

The boy ran off to play.

And the old man smiled.

He liked to watch the little boy play.

He saw the smile on the youngster's face and heard him laughing as he swung from a nearby tree.

The boy was happy.

And it was a joy to see.

The old man also liked to watch the boy work.

He even rose early on Saturday mornings to watch the little laborer across the street mow the lawn.

The boy actually whistled while he worked.

The little child was happy no matter what he was doing.

It was, indeed, a joy to behold.

When he thought about what the old man had said, the boy thought he understood.

He knew about presents. . .

Like the bicycle he got for his birthday and the gifts he found under the tree on Christmas morning.

But as the boy thought more about it, he knew.

The joy of toys never lasts forever.

The boy began to feel uneasy.

"What then," he wondered,"is The Precious Present?

"What could be so good. . . so much better than any other present. . . that it is called The Precious Present?

"What could possibly make me happy forever?"

He found it difficult to even imagine the answer.

And so he returned to ask the old man.

"Is The Precious Present a magical ring? One that I might put on my finger and make all my wishes come true?"

"No," he was told.

The Precious Present Has Nothing To Do With Wishing.

Customer Reviews

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The Precious Present 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this when it first came out and have read it over and over.  Read it to geniatric patients on a mental health unit, to folks in nursing homes, used it for a devotional at my churches.  It is a simple, beautiful book that still brings a tear to my eyes when reading it.
MidNiteReader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book reminds us of what we all forget while we are in the middle of the hustle and bustle of our busy lives.  "The Precious Present" is exactly that... precious, momentary, one of a kind, and in need of our attention.  Recommended for all ages.
JFCGAC1969 More than 1 year ago
I was given this book as a gift many years ago - actually by my my employer at the time. I enjoyed it so that I have gifted many with this "precious present". The message is simple, yet eloquent...a quick read. I love it! I can't recommend it highly enough!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a sweet, simply told parable-like story. I have given numerous copies to others who needed cheer in their lives, or just because I cared about them. I re-read my copy each year as a reminder of what's important and really matters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ObjectiveReviewer More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended in the book The Happy Minimalist. I am glad I read it. It is an easy read that warms your heart. A smart play of the words "Precious Present"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gerre More than 1 year ago
Originally published in 1984, this tiny little book packs a powerful punch with the message of gift giving. Understanding your purpose in life and appreciating what life has to give is a timeless message which is applicable to any age or anyone that ponders life's purpose.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book and have given it as a gift many many times over the years. It is a heartwarming story about the most important thing in life - which is living in the now! It's touching and warms the heart.
JRWriter More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book to all readers. It is the perfect gift for a graduate. Spencer Johnson writes in a simple form to remind us of what is missing in our thought processes. I know this would benefit anyone who buys this and absorbs the story. An excellent read!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book is a must have for people who find themselves thinking about the future too much or may be 'lost' in their past. It helps give a better understanding of why it is important to live in the present and appreciate life on a day-to-day basis! I recommend this book as a great read and plan to give it as a gift to most of my friends!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I give this present every year at Christmas to someone I found in that year needs the 'Precious Present' It changes lives.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book ever. This book is inpirastional, and verry verry helpful. Anyone would tell you this book is good. If your always thinking about the past or Future this book will keep you in your place.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Absolutely keeps me grounded when I feel out of control or I worry about the future. This is a MUST read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Because I have had some misfortunes in my life, I used to dwell on my past a lot. This also made me plan for the future a lot because I was never happy with myself. This book though, has really helped me live in the present moment! I can really say that I am a happier person because I read this book. The other completely excellent book that has helped put this in even better perspective is 'The Ever-Transcending Spirit' by Toru Sato. That one is also a fantastic book! Like Gandhi said, 'Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.' These books are very true to the spirit of people like this!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book delivers a very important message about enjoying your life. It is a wonderful gift to give.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I attended a therapy group back in 12/2000, this book "The Precious Present" was read to the group. It touched my life, so I went out and purchased it. I have used it as a tool in my life on a daily basis. I want to thank you Spencer Johnson for such an outstanding book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book and I would not have had any of the success I enjoy today, without it
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a small book with a very powerful message. I read it all the time!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author has created a simple path for the reader to follow in the search for peace and clarity in the here and now. While this book may read like a children's book for adults, its slow pace requires the mind to quiet down so that it can really register the meaning of the author's words. As the book says, 'The Present Is Simply Who I Am Just The Way I Am... Right Now. And It Is Precious.' We may be familiar with this philosophy in theory, but the experience of reading it over again in this format brings it home.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was given to me for my high school graduation, over ten years ago (wow, that dates me), and it's traveled with me everywhere I've lived since then. It was inspirational when I was 17, as a sort of guide to the way I hoped to live my life. Now, when I re-read it, it helps me to focus on the most important thing: the present. We tend to get so caught up in the future, wishing we had something that's out of our reach right now, or the past, having regrets and wishing we'd done things differently. This book helps keep me grounded in the now, and appreciate the things I do have. I highly recommend it, for a gift or for yourself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Outside of the Bible, the 'best' book ever written when applied to day-to-day living!