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How to Be Idle


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About the Author

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.


"Charming, as all idlers should be."--Kirkus Reviews
" In this beguiling book, [Hodgkinson] persuasively advocates idleness as the way to gain access to the creativity of the subconscious mind, or at least to enjoy a few beers."--The Spectator
"Great enjoyment . . . excellent jokes."--New York Times Book Review
"He's only gone and hit the f***ing nail on the head!"--Damien Hirst
"Hodgkinson glories in reminding us that idleness has a long tradition. Indeed, I was so impressed by his chapter on the virtues of the nap, that one sunny lunchtime I headed for the park to fall asleep in the sun - which I did, feeling gloriously guiltless and assertive about it."--The Guardian
"Hodgkinson, a partisan in 'the millennia-long battle between the materialists and the mystics, ' ...cares deeply enough for his subject to transcend its built-in cheekiness....In a rightly breezy style, Hodgkinson recommends stargazing, smoking, loafing in pubs, lying bed."--East Bay Express
"Portraying history as an epic struggle between irritating go-getters and noble idlers, the book reads like a ramble through the centuries with a lanquid, likable companion who has scoured the world's libraries to validate his obsession."--St. Petersburg Times
"The beauty of How to Be Idle is that while Hodgkinson is perfectly serious about the benefits of loafing, he sets out his stall with a light touch. He wants us to live slow and die old, but to do it with elegance."--Scotland on Sunday
"There is, as usual, some effort involved in holding up the book and turning the pages. This time, hurrah -- it's worth it!"--Giles Foden, author of Ladysmith and The Last King of Scotland
"You know you have uncovered a true literary gem when you annoy your family with an unceasing, unwanted, and uncontrollable laugh track while reading. In fact, the only thing I lamented about Tom Hodgkinson's irresistable How to Be Idle is that the author waited so long to publish this--USA Today

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