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. How to be Idle is Tom Hodgkinson’s entertaining guide to reclaiming your right to be idle. As Oscar Wilde said, doing nothing is hard work. Buy How to be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders.

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But I think 18 years after the book was printed things are changing slowly. Long is the time that one enjoys his actually food. I can enjoy this lifestyle as I am a PhD student, one with a work ethic than tends to spending weeks thinking hhow then half a day actually producing work.

How to Be Idle

Generally they were interesting the first time. He makes it sound as though the ideal life is the idle life and all one needs to do is find that occupation that gets them by with the essentials of life.

I don’t hodgknson or smoke and prefer coffee to tea. Of course, he’s also an Englishman so his ability to avoid the full-on career is augmented a bit by the universal health-care he enjoys.

Published April 24th by Harper Perennial first published The idea is to present a philosophical alternative to the tedious protestant work ethic that gained ascendancy during the Industrial Revolution. It is humorous and admirable, a dutiful effort for a book on idleness. Aug 29, Hannah rated it did not like it Shelves: As well as the impact of the Industrial Revolution on our modern working lives and consumer culture. Instead, he provides the boosterish Chamber of Commerce version of idling, concentrating on the good stuff, ignoring the waste, the slag, the runoff and the pollution of true idleness.


Inside Hodginson discusses philosophy, historical information and personal anecdotes all relating to idleness and the effects of work culture on society. Quotes from How to Be Idle.

Whereas I really enjoyed the general, positive look on idling, napping, staying home if you wish, gaining back at least a little control of your life through easy, small steps, man I read The Freedom Manifesto before this one, so even though I was kind of expecting How To Be Idle to be weaker and less polished, seeing it was published first and juggles around with big and relatively difficult thoughts to hold together and to form a whole, I still found myself mostly bored and unhappy reading it.

How to Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson

Sure, one CAN use those very atributes to follow the direction that the idling in itself is heading, but, mastering the art that is Idling will fulfill you with yourself, with just being content by the presence of nothingness. I guess the problem is, which Hodgkinson addresses, but not to my satisfaction, is the difference between the sunny, amusing, free-spirited idler and an out-and-out deadbeat.

Work is a way we serve our families and serve others. He covers a whole spectrum of issues affecting the modern idler—sleep, work, pleasure, relationships—while reflecting on the writing of such famous apologists for it as Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Nietzsche—all of whom have admitted to doing their very best work in bed.

Rather than living to work, we should work just as much as we need to in order to live and spend the rest of our time enjoying ourselves. A Loafer’s Manifesto is a tongue-in-cheek look at why sleep and contemplation are better than stress and constant action.


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.



It reinforced the suspicion that I was getting idling advice from a kid… But of course Hodgkinson himself is no iidle. Dec 03, Anna rated it really liked it Shelves: This is an outstanding collection of witty, profound, and Britishly-humorous essays to inspire those who would desire true leisure—that is, control over one’s time and thoughts, something that has largely eroded in our times.

Hodgkinson, founder of the Idler magazine, does. With such faulty reasoning he glibly concludes that homeless, j I agree strongly with Hodgkinson’s premise that rest and leisure are necessary to healthful, joyful living, but I disagree with his reasoning and with his extreme conclusions. Books of the Week.

Jan 13, Jeremy rated it really liked it. Instead, Hodgkinson says inspiringly, sleep late, drink tons of beer, go to music festivals, study the art of conversation, go fishing, meditate, and skip work whenever you can. Even aside from the obvious howw wah society is crumbling because of technology,” he uses the phrase “happy peasants” and thinks that “living poor for a day” would be ideal. Downsizing is the new expansion. I A weird book, with an interesting message. In his chapter on the evils of the 9-to-5 job “wage slavery,” as the author calls itHodgkinson cites Heinrich Himmler as a spokesperson for the defense of work, tacitly comparing shuffling papers in a cubicle for 40 hours a week to the horrors of Auschwitz.