One would think that not becoming rich was a straightforward business, one that most of us have mastered. But author Robert Sullivan, in...

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One would think that not becoming rich was a straightforward business, one that most of us have mastered.

But author Robert Sullivan, in his slim new book, “How Not to Get Rich (or Why Being Bad Off Isn’t So Bad)” (Bloomsbury, 96 pp., $9.95), manages to put an enjoyably perverse spin on the process.

For instance: “Looking at one’s own personal nonrich history can be especially illuminating to the person seeking not to accumulate wealth on an unprecedented scale.”

Got that?

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“How Not to Get Rich” features many similar tidbits, as Sullivan slyly targets the economic disparities of our country.

Among his other recommendations for ways to stay poor are: 1. going to school (“These days, a good education is a must if you are planning on working your entire life and ending up with little or nothing”) and 2. investing in the stock market (“This is done by hiring a broker who couldn’t get a job out of college … but was smart enough not to become a writer”).

Sullivan will offer more such pearls at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Elliott Bay Book Co., Seattle (206-624-6600 or www.elliottbaybook.com).

Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times book critic