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How to be Idle Hardcover – 26 Aug 2004
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"A true literary gem... irresistable" -- USA Today
A true literary gem... irresistable --USA Today
"In these stress-filled times . . . we should all give ourselves the gift of reading this debut."--Library Journal
"A true literary gem... irresistable"--USA Today
In these stress-filled times . . . we should all give ourselves the gift of reading this debut. --Library Journal"
A true literary gem... irresistable --USA Today"
-In these stress-filled times . . . we should all give ourselves the gift of reading this debut.---Library Journal
-A true literary gem... irresistable---USA Today --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Tom Hodgkinson was born in 1968. Since founding the Idler in 1993, he has been a frequent contributor to many newspapers and magazines and appears regularly on TV and radio to discuss idler' issues. This is his first book.
Top customer reviews
The author delights in dozing rather than being a slave to the alarm clock. I have learned that art: no longer musing what my former colleagues are up to while I am still in bed; rather reviewing the past day (like the examen) and planning the current day. He also has sound advice on the importance of dreams and the way to remember them so as to assist us in discerning our real desires and needs as opposed to learned wants.
I remember being told, back in the 1980s, how technology would deliver us from drudgery and create more leisure time. What happened to that?
Freud reckoned that introspection was unhealthy. How unhealthy is that?
Hitler wanted to eradicate `lazy people'. You can see where this is going.
My best quotation is from Oscar Wilde: [T]he contemplative life, the life that has for its aim not doing but being, and not being merely, but becoming -- this is what the critical spirit can give us. The gods live thus
However, I cannot follow the author's suggestion that calling in sick does not really burden your colleagues with extra work. As a teacher I was endlessly covering for others' lessons: usually the same unruly class that they couldn't cope with week after week after week. And the idea that we take painkillers to assuage our guilt and get on with our work wasn't true in my case. I went into work sick because I knew that if I didn't there would be a higher mountain of work to catch up on otherwise.
How old is the author? Quite young, apparently. He extols the virtues of staying in: it has taken me until age 60 to see the virtue of that.
The author is quite wrong about the opening up of licensing laws. Far from creating a staggered (literally?!) exit from pubs it has created vomiting rowdy masses in our city centres.
The greatest strength of this book is that it gives you a warm feeling that things you enjoy - beer gardens, sleeping etc - are actually really good for you. The guilt associated with not working so many hours per week, or needing to get up early to do DIY, are actually relics from the industrial revolution. This era of mass production with time as a mere commodity can be changed if people take on board the ideas of this book and adjust their lives to suit their soul and not their bank balance.
The book is divided into neat sections, each with a well placed quote, this makes it easy to read when visiting the toilet or having a bath. Although the tone is whimsical and flippant I think you can take a serious message from How to be Idle.
Who would I recommend this book to? Well..., everyone really.
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