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The Importance of Being Idle: A Little Book of Lazy Inspiration [Paperback]

Stephen Robins
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 6.18 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2001
In an age of increasingly stressed-out, long, mundance working hours "The Importance of Being Idle" is a call to arms for would-be loafers everywhere to man their armchairs and turn their hands to absolutely nothings whatsoever. Offering inspirational advice, age-old proverbs, quotations and philosophical dialogues it argues that idling has a centrally important role to play in both civilization and our day-to-day physical well-being. Covering every aspect from ambition to afternoon tea, Buddhism to beds, capitalism to curiosity, death to doing nothing, employment to excuses, it highlights the wisdom of the great idlers across the centuries to help the novice idler while away the lazy hours.

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The Importance of Being Idle: A Little Book of Lazy Inspiration + The Joy of Laziness: How to Slow Down and Live Longer
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Prion Books Ltd (1 Oct 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853754382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853754388
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 597,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Being a slacker is just as hard as being a workaholic--and ten times harder to justify. However, now when you are confronted by a disgruntled colleague's whining, uncomfortable silences can be abated by an immediate witty quotation from someone like George Meredith: "To do nothing is the wisdom of those who have seen fools perish!". Cue smug satisfaction as colleague slithers away, frustrated. The Importance of Being Idle is tailor-made for those moments, containing hundreds of quotations from the likes of Aristotle, Dickens, James Thurber, Chaucer and G. K. Chesterton to name but a few. Broken down into a variety of subjects ("Ambition", "Crime", "Getting Out of Bed", "Protestant Work Ethic") the great and good of literature and history step forward to offer their erudite views ("I like to have the morning well aired before I get up"--Beau Brummel) in support of this necessary and revered (in-)activity. The Importance of Being Idleis invaluable to anyone who is vilified for having taken the most underrated of lifestyle choices. And, when you can prove that literature's most illustrious figures share your love of slacking, sceptics might just join you. --Danny Graydon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"the majority of Englishmen and Americans have no life but in their work." John Stuart Mill; "the time that a man may call his own, that is his life." Charles Lamb "Thank heavens the sun has gone in, and I don't have to go out and enjoy it." Logan Pearsall Smith; "Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect experience if only one had a coloured pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling" G K Chesterton

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Importance of being Idle (review) 11 Sep 2005
It is a good book in all, with old style drawings and mostly a collection of quotes from some famous people i didnt really know but had good intelectual insight, a lot repeated - not the quotes but the people they are from you understand. Its a very easy read with that comic strip fashion you can pick it up anytime for " A little Inspiration" It seems to dwindle towards the end but had some good strong points in the beggining.
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By A Customer
This book, a modern classic, was conceived in sin and executed in leisure. Idleness, sloth, and slovenliness are all portrayed in their finest colours. Languidity, laziness and simply being a big old fat-ass are sold to us as virtues; moral precepts untouchable by theology, philosophy and common sense. I would recommend this book highly to those who do too much, and to those who positively enjoy doing too little.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book has helped me keep my equilibrium. 30 Dec 2000
I was given this book for Christmas having been laid up with a broken leg since September (the result of a damn fool burst of activity for which I was totally unprepared). With a marvellously, blissfully clear conscience I can thoroughly endorse it's contents and practices described.
Read this book - you never know when you'll need it.
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