I spend much of my free time in the library. For me, the library is calming and exciting, all at the same time. Walking between the stacks and stacks of books, I can feel the words on the pages – the knowledge between the covers – calling out to me.
I want to read everything; I want to know everything; I want to experience a bit of it all. Given the time, I could spend hours wandering through the library simply looking at the topics from which I could choose.
Today, however, I had a specific goal in mind when I walked through the book sensors at the front of the library. I was looking for a health and wellness book for another assignment. In the process, I came across a book called The Art of Doing Nothing: Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself by Véronique Vienne.
As a freelance writer, a full-time employee, a wife and a chronic over-achiever, I thought The Art of Doing Nothing sounded rather interesting. Rarely during the day do I allow myself time to relax long enough to smell the roses, listen to the sounds outside, appreciate nature, or whatever else this book wanted me to think about.
While completing a task or assignment, I am generally thinking about the next thing I have to do. I feel guilty thinking about sitting down for a few minutes, let alone taking a nap. I’m sure millions of other women across the country feel the same way each day. There simply are not enough hours in the day!
So even though I was sure I wasn’t going to buy into whatever was in this book had to say, I picked it up and checked it out anyway. I’ll try anything to relax a little bit during the day.
How to Live a Stress Free Life: Pick a Different Self-Help Book
Halfway through the 91-page book I discovered that I already do most of the things the author writes about, anyway. In between nature metaphors, brief history lessons and sepia-colored photos of serene things like water pools, beaches and sunsets, Vienne suggests that I procrastinate, breathe, yawn and bathe, among other things.
By the time I got to page 68, I thought about how thankful I was that I had checked this book out from the library, rather than spending money on it.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean the book has no merit or value.
The Art of Doing Nothing: Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself
The book itself is almost relaxing. The lack of bright colors and easy structure puts the reader in the right frame of mind. Not only are the photos sepia-toned, the entire book shares the brownish hue. The lack of color keeps the mind relaxed and allows the reader to absorb the information effortlessly. There are no bright colors to process, no sharp or shocking photos to take in.
The prose and structure of the book in themselves are sort of relaxing, in their own way. Though not the most straightforward read, the words on the page seem to poetically and effortlessly flow into one another, using vivid and interesting imagery. Each chapter, or topic has three sections, all structured in the same manner. Because of the simple structure, the reader knows what to expect next, even before she arrives in the next section.
Stress Free Self-Help Book Not Original
Despite the positive aspects of the book, it simply is less-than-revolutionary, and failing to offer new insight or tips to busy women. On the upside, because it is so short, it only takes a small amount of time to read, but chances are, you won’t learn anything new.
And definitely, check it out from the library.
The Art of Doing Nothing: Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself was published by Clarkson Potter in 1998. ISBN: 0609600745