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Good advice for the times

How to do nothing book cover
A review of How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell

Jenny Odell’s book is not, in spite of the title, about literally doing NOTHING. Rather, it’s about how one can find time and mental space for oneself in a world where advertising, social media and work increasingly vie for our attention every hour of the day.

Passing through Diogenes, Thoreau, the back-to-the-land movement of the ‘60s and her own recently discovered love of birdwatching, Odell discusses how to push back against this “Attention Economy” not by simply deleting one’s social media account and moving to the woods, but by fostering thoughtful engagement with other people and the natural world, and choosing carefully how to direct one’s finite time and focus.

--reviewed by Matt D. - Hawthorne Library

Apr 15, 2020