** A New York Times Bestseller **
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: Time • The New Yorker • NPR • GQ • Elle • Vulture • Fortune • Boing Boing • The Irish Times • The New York Public Library • The Brooklyn Public Library
"A complex, smart and ambitious book that at first reads like a self-help manual, then blossoms into a wide-ranging political manifesto."—Jonah Engel Bromwich, The New York Times Book Review
One of President Barack Obama's "Favorite Books of 2019"
Porchlight's Personal Development & Human Behavior Book of the Year
In a world where addictive technology is designed to buy and sell our attention, and our value is determined by our 24/7 data productivity, it can seem impossible to escape. But in this inspiring field guide to dropping out of the attention economy, artist and critic Jenny Odell shows us how we can still win back our lives.
Odell sees our attention as the most precious—and overdrawn—resource we have. And we must actively and continuously choose how we use it. We might not spend it on things that capitalism has deemed important … but once we can start paying a new kind of attention, she writes, we can undertake bolder forms of political action, reimagine humankind’s role in the environment, and arrive at more meaningful understandings of happiness and progress.
Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the back-to-nature meditation we read so often, How to do Nothing is an action plan for thinking outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism. Provocative, timely, and utterly persuasive, this book will change how you see your place in our world.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Jenny Odell’s fascinating and wide-ranging manifesto is a breath of fresh air. The Oakland-based author and artist offers a thoughtful perspective on what’s happening to us as individuals who are neck-deep in social-media culture. Odell’s solution goes deeper than so-called digital detoxes—she calls on us to embark on something like habitat rehabilitation for our minds. She entices us to step away from our computers and phones with a collage of ideas about paying attention to the places where we live and the nature that surrounds us. She draws on the writings of John Muir and Greek philosophers and explores diverse topics like bird-watching, labor strikes, and ’60s communes. How to Do Nothing is deep and totally absorbing. We came away from reading it feeling hopeful—and excited to go outside and look up at some trees.