This Weeks readings were on the Book How To Be Idle by tom Hodgkinson. Basically Hodgkinson discusses that in the world today there is a hustle and bustle about things, and that people, especially people in the United States never take any time to just sit down and relax. Everything just is work work work, and no one takes time off from working.
The book is set up by the hours of the day, and he begins with eight o’ clock in the morning and states that one should not get up at this time, and that waking early is in fact bad and that you should sleep in and it in fact makes it easier to think and makes you feel better, by the end of the chapter he simply says throw away your l alarm clock and sleep in. From here he discusses things like lying in bed awake at 9 a.m. and taking a nap halfway through the day, and having elevenses and afternoon tea at 4 p.m.. In all these chapters he gives significant examples to support all of these practices one should do to be idle, and by the end of the book you have the tools to lead an idle life.
As I got further and further into the book I felt like all the things he suggests on doing are reflective of a hobbit, from J.R.R. Tolkiens time-honored classic The Hobbit. The way hobbits are described in their lifestyle coincides with Hodgkinsons rules, if you will, on how to be idle.
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”
Now the similarities I find with these two books may be due to the fact that they are both by British authors, and several of the ideals of being idle it seems are practiced regularly or at least more regular in Britain than in the United States. In this I feel that Hodgkinson makes the effort to write how everyday life should not be treated only as a time to work, but also a time to relax once in a while, by no means do I think He is saying to be Idle everyday, in that no one would ever get anything done, but on the other hand he makes a strong case for idleness in that working all the time is not necessarily the healthiest thing to do either.
One thing that I felt that he did miss on was in the beginning of the book he says that christianity only stresses work, and never says to be idle and he gives quotes from the Bible from Proverbs 6, which talks more about laziness than Idleness, and he also fails to mention that the christian faith allots one day a week to idleness and its called Sunday, a day of rest. This however is rarely practiced anymore, and there are numbers of people who work on Sundays.
This book in the end stresses that Idleness is a necessity for healthy living not that one should be idle all the time, but one should at least be idle a little in their life and get away from the idea that you have to work constantly all the time, but I do find myself working constantly and taking few breaks, especially in my geography classes.