How to Be Idle

Front Cover
Harper Collins, May 10, 2005 - Self-Help - 304 pages
7 Reviews

With advice, information, and reflection on such matters as lying in, long lunches, the art of the nap, and how to skive, How to Be Idle gives you all the inspiration you need to take a break from your fast-paced, overworked life.

From the founding editor of the The Idler, the celebrated magazine about the freedom and fine art of doing nothing, comes not simply a book, but an antidote to our work-obsessed culture. In How to Be Idle, Tom Hodgkinson presents his learned yet whimsical argument for a new universal standard of living: being happy doing nothing. He covers a whole spectrum of issues affecting the modern idler -- sleep, work, pleasure, relationships -- bemoaning the cultural skepticism of idleness while reflecting on the writing of such famous apologists for it as Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Johnson, and Nietzsche -- all of whom have admitted to doing their very best work in bed.

It's a well-known fact that Europeans spend fewer hours at work a week than Americans. So it's only befitting that one of them -- the very clever, extremely engaging, and quite hilarious Hodgkinson -- should have the wittiest and most useful insights into the fun and nature of loafing.

Who wouldn't want to blow off work for a day and just "be idle"? The key to a life of pleasure, freedom, and guilt-free lounging around is in your hands.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MiaCulpa - LibraryThing

While I need to instruction on how to be idle, it's always good to have refresher courses and "How to be idle" is such a refresher course. Hodgkinson's thesis, that pre-Industrial Revolution, humans ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - castiron - LibraryThing

I didn’t finish this book, though I read large chunks of it. The author has some really good points, that apply just as much (if not more so) to American society as to his own British. Why should we ... Read full review

Contents

Waking Up Is Hard to Do
1
Toil and Trouble
14
Sleeping In
30
Skiving for Pleasure and Profit
39
The Hangover
51
The Death of Lunch
58
On Being Ill
68
The Nap
79
The Pub
162
Riot
174
The Moon and the Stars
185
Sex and Idleness
194
The Art of Conversation
205
Party Time
215
Meditation
224
Sleep
232

Time for Tea
88
The Ramble
99
First Drink of the Day
112
On Fishing
122
Smoking
132
The Idle Home
146
On Holidays
243
A Waking Dream
261
Further Reading
273
Acknowledgements
285
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About the author (2005)

Tom Hodgkinson is still doing what he's always done, which is a mixture of editing magazines, writing articles, and putting on parties. He was born in 1968, founded The Idler in 1993, and now lives in Devon, England. He is also the author of The Freedom Manifesto.

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