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How to Be Idle [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Tom Hodgkinson
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10. Mai 2005

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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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 304 Seiten
  • Verlag: Harper (10. Mai 2005)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0060779683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060779689
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 18,5 x 13,2 x 3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 165.775 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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“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)


As Oscar Wilde said, doing nothing is hard work. The Protestant work ethic has most of us in its thrall, and the idlers of this world have the odds stacked against them. But here, at last, is a book that can help. From Tom Hodgkinson, editor of the Idler, comes HOW TO BE IDLE, an antidote to the work-obsessed culture which puts so many obstacles between ourselves and our dreams. Hodgkinson presents us with a laid-back argument for a new contract between routine and chaos, an argument for experiencing life to the full and living in the moment. Ranging across a host of issues that may affect the modern idler sleep, the world of work, pleasure and hedonism, relationships, bohemian living, revolution he draws on the writings of such well-known apologists for idleness as Dr Johnson, Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson and Nietzsche. His message is clear: take control of your life and reclaim your right to be idle. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
I wonder if that hard-working American rationalist and agent of industry Benjamin Franklin knew how much misery he would cause in the world when, back in 1757, high on puritanical zeal, he popularized and promoted the trite and patently untrue aphorism "early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise"? Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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14 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Just brillant 14. März 2006
Von Ein Kunde
Dieses Buch regt an zum Nachdenken über den eigenen Lebensstil, es ist über die Maßen amüsant und Tom Hodgkinson verkneift sich Gottseidank die Aufstellung von "10 steps how to become idle". Auf der Lesung sagte er auch, man müsse - und könne - selbst entscheiden, ob man Müßiggänger sein möchte oder nicht. "How to Be Idle" ist nichts für Menschen, die eine Vollzeittätigkeit für das höchste Lebensziel halten. Für alle anderen: Sehr zu empfehlen!
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6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Sehr gut 28. Mai 2011
Von Mojo
Jeder der lieber faul am See liegt als im Büro einen Bildschirm anzustarren, wird dieses Buch verschlingen. Es weniger ein Ratgeber, es ist eine Exkursion in die Menscheitsgeschichte der Faulheit und eine Ode an diese.

Das Buch ist sehr gut geschrieben und gehört zu der Art von Büchern bei der man anfängt zu lesen und ein paar Stunden später feststellt, dass man noch etwas anderes vorhatte.

Ich schließe ab mit einem Zitat aus dem Buch, dass den Geist des Buches auch ganz gut beschreibt.

"Let us be lazy in everything, except in loving and drinking, except in beeing lazy" - Lessing
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3 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Naja - Ein nettes Buch zum Zeitvertreib 22. Januar 2012
Von Uwe
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Der Autor war auf jeden Fall nicht idle, das Buch ist gespickt mit Literaturstellen aller Epochen, die mal mehr mal weniger passen.

Der Titel lässt leider nicht auf den Inhalt schließen.
Im Prinzip wird sehr langatmig der Alltag eines Beaus um die Jahrhundertwende des 20ten Jahrhunderts beschrieben.
Da empfehle ich dann doch eher einen Roman aus dieser Epoche......

Kurzum, das Buch ist langatmig, langweilig und nicht besonders geschrieben.
Positiv: Nach 10-20 Seiten ist man entschlummert und mit hin "idle"
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.2 von 5 Sternen  33 Rezensionen
36 von 38 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Idle bliss 7. Juli 2005
Von Roman Tsivkin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Okay, so this is a book that you just have to read while at work, since spending your idle time reading it would do it injustice. Celebrating the human spirit and life in general, this book will delight and inspire many a sick-day or an impromtu midday walk in the park. After reading the chapter on naps, I closed my office door, turned off the light, sprawled across two chairs, and promptly fell into a pleasant doze. The book is a wonderful compendium of quotes and craftily funny arguments to slow down, slack off, chill out, and stop taking everything--especially work--so seriously. I'm glad the author mentions one of my heros, the almost forgotten Lin Yutang, who wrote the Ur-Idleness book "The Importance of Living" way back in the 1930s. "How to be Idle" has delightfully short chapters, with whimsical themes and an attitude that is diametrically opposed to the crazy work-ethic and health-disease (the condition of being obsessed with health) on both sides of the pond.

I wish there were more books like this.
38 von 41 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Book I'll Refer To Often 31. Juli 2005
Von FLbeachbum - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
A little gem of a book, "How To Be Idle" is full of wit and wisdom from the other side of the work-obsessed fence/culture (as well as "pond"). And I don't mean cute but useless platitudes, either. Despite being an idler himself, author Tom Hodgkinson really did his homework on this one. Included are chapters on sleep, the workplace, holidays, etc. including the evolution of our present-day work habits, and how much of our current misery came about as a result of the Industrial Revolution, as well as Thomas Edison's inventions. I was truly surprised to discover Mr. Hodgkinson's relatively young age (b. 1968), as his knowledge and intelligence are extensive. The "Party Time" chapter betrays him, however; methinks I'll skip the rave parties, thanks much. Also, especially in the chapter on "Sex and Idleness", Mr. Hodgkinson seems to forget that half the population of the planet and hence potentially half his readership, is female. HEADS UP, Tom; be mindful of this and you may sell more books. I thought about severely chastising him for these faux pas, but the rest of the book is so delightful (well, there are typos; just a few), that as a true idler I will let it go. Besides, the real icing on the cake is that Mr. Hodgkinson includes an EXCELLENT section "For Further Reading" of books, periodicals, and websites. Many of the materials mentioned are by some of the great sages of history - Dr. Samuel Johnson, Oscar Wilde, Coleridge, LOTS more.

So "How To Be Idle" offers a vast store of information, and handily merits a 5-star rating. Normally I'm content to just borrow a book from the library and return it, but this one I gladly purchased. I recommend it as a keeper to anyone wishing to enlighten themselves and/or shed the guilt sometimes associated with idleness.
22 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen It's OK to read this book -- just do it in bed. 26. September 2005
Von Meryl K. Evans - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
After reading this book, I have decided to skip the review to enjoy the extra time. Oh? I have to write it? That's "wage slavery!" according to author Tom Hodgkinson who uses that term for "jobs." He reveals his life changed for the better once he trashed his alarm clock. By the way, I'm not really a "wage slave," as I don't get paid for these reviews -- just plain "slave."

The book covers a 24-hour period with each hour represented in an essay that starts with a quote and a sketch depicting the chapter's topic. The author opens with "Waking up Is Hard to Do" at 8 a.m. and immediately attacks the quote many of us relate to when it comes to waking up — Benjamin Franklin's "Early to bed..." philosophy. Hodgkinson recalls his mother screaming at him to wake up and now he starts his mornings as an idler by "sleeping in for a few more minutes."

In the first hour, he attacks Mr. Kellogg of Corn Flakes fame with humor, and explains that the assault against oversleeping started as far back as biblical times with a quote from Proverbs chapter six. Then Hodgkinson presents proponents of sloth like G.K. Chesterston who writes in his essay _On Lying in Bed_, "The tone now commonly taken towards the practice of lying in bed is hypocritical and unhealthy; instead of being regarded as it ought to be, as a matter of personal."

The hours that follow continue with the same approach while addressing different themes from 'sleeping in' to the hangover, to the art of the conversation and holidays. Every essay includes quotes and resources from the likes of Jerome K. Jerome, Winston Churchill, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and more to rally support for the idle life. Each hour stands on its own feet, so you can take your time and read them whenever.

This author doesn't give advice on organizing your time so you can relax and take pleasure in life. Rather, think of it as the side of a debate that urges we sleep in, take naps, make time for tea, hang out at the pub, and live in our dream world. The author addresses the issues that affect the idler's life and tells the reader how to continue the merry idle way in spite of these barriers. Even some of the smartest minds in history did their best work in bed.

Stories about inventor Thomas Edison, the enemy of idleness, say he slept only three or four hours a night because he liked to work at night and do his experiments during the day. It turns out, based on several witnesses; the inventor took naps in his lab.

The book needs an index, but perhaps the author convinced his editors to take it easy, so they skipped it. With the many references to people and quotes, it would be nice to find something I read without working that hard to scan the pages.

The book is a mixture of literary criticism, tongue-in-cheek wit, and insight into our society's neglect of the idle life. Readers desiring to become more familiar with the literary authors and other sages get a touch of these folks through their writings, comments, and actions on work and laziness. Hodgkinson writes a convincing manifesto for living easy and embellishes it with a diversity of classic resources.

Take a moment to relish your life; work can wait.
18 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Freedom from the chains of busyness 7. Februar 2006
Von Lleu Christopher - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening book that advocates dropping out of the modern rat race. Tom Hodgkinson, publisher of a magazine called the Idler (which I haven't seen but am going to look for) has a deceptively light and humorous tone which masks a more serious agenda. At first, I thought that this book was simply going for laughs, but as I read on I realized that Hodgkinson is very serious about his doctrine of doing less. He quotes liberally from one of my favorite authors, Lin Yutang, a Chinese-American who, even fifty or so years ago, was lamenting the hurried pace of modern life. Like Yutang before him, Hodgkinson admires the "do nothing" approach of the Taoists. How To Be Idle is divided into 24 chapters, for each hour of the day. Each hour illustrates another way to relax and decline to participate in the mostly useless and banal hustle and bustle of the workaday world. We should, for example, get up late, lie in bed for a while, have tea in the afternoon, cocktails at six, and so forth. Hodgkinson is a true contrarian; in addition to being anti-work, he champions the politically incorrect habits of smoking and drinking. He connects the pub with radical political movements and points out how the authorities instinctively distrust idlers, seeing them (probably rightly) as basic foes of the political/industrial machine.

You could criticize How To Be Idle as impractical and for not really providing a means to drop out. Hodgkinson, for example, breezily talks about staying home from work, even quitting your job, but how many people can really do this? Yet a book like this helps us to take the first step, which is asking some basic questions about our supposedly free and prosperous society. Most people today are on a never-ending treadmill, in which the bulk of their time is spent sustaining a life that is controlled by others.

I enjoyed the whole book, but I especially appreciated the last few chapters. Hodgkinson reveals his truly radical vision when he discusses holidays, and how the whole concept is really part of the wage-slave mentality. First of all, people are encouraged to be constantly busy on holiday, which, he points out, defeats the whole purpose. More fundamentally, we have become conditioned to having our freedom doled out to us by leaders, whether of state or corporation. So we are allowed a holiday now and then in order to make us more amenable to our captivity the rest of the time. What this book is really saying is that it is up to us to take back our time and freedom. I am in accord with Hodgkinson's desire to free us from these chains.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Don't get me wrong 25. April 2011
Von AEmanuel - Veröffentlicht auf
Don't get me wrong.I think it is a great idea, take some time away from the hussle bussle of the day to day workplace. Take time for yourself, live and enjoy life. But this book takes it to extremes. Who says that going throuhg daily chores, as much as it sucks has to be the end all be all. The books takes idling to new heights such as quitting your job and smoking and drinking. Don't get me wrong, but what does this have to do with relaxing? I feel like the author took his own personal views on drinking and smoking which apparently he does in large amounts and qith a little bit of quoted literature turned it into his own philosophy. I was with him for while until the readers responses, where from oner person who wrote him asking how an idle person with kids can be idle, he said (NOT JOKING) that an kids love getting things for their parents, and that one of his friends has trained his three year old to get him cigarettes, beer and an ash tray while he is lying on the Anyone?
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