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How to Be Alone [NOOK Book]

Overview


IN THIS AGE OF CONSTANT CONNECTIVITY, LEARN HOW TO ENJOY SOLITUDE AND FIND HAPPINESS WITHOUT OTHERS.

Our fast-paced society does not approve of solitude; being alone is antisocial and some even find it sinister. Why is this so when autonomy, personal freedom, and individualism are more highly prized than ever before? In How to Be Alone, Sara Maitland answers this question by exploring changing attitudes throughout history. Offering ...
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How to Be Alone

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Overview


IN THIS AGE OF CONSTANT CONNECTIVITY, LEARN HOW TO ENJOY SOLITUDE AND FIND HAPPINESS WITHOUT OTHERS.

Our fast-paced society does not approve of solitude; being alone is antisocial and some even find it sinister. Why is this so when autonomy, personal freedom, and individualism are more highly prized than ever before? In How to Be Alone, Sara Maitland answers this question by exploring changing attitudes throughout history. Offering experiments and strategies for overturning our fear of solitude, she helps us practice it without anxiety and encourages us to see the benefits of spending time by ourselves. By indulging in the experience of being alone, we can be inspired to find our own rewards and ultimately lead more enriched, fuller lives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In an age of moral and practical confusions, the self-help book is crying out to be redesigned and rehabilitated. The School of Life announces a rebirth with a series that examines the great issues of life, including money, sanity, work, technology, and the desire to alter the world for the better.”—Alain de Botton, The School of Life Series Editor

“Self-Help Books for the Rest of Us.”—The New York Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250059031
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 9/2/2014
  • Series: School of Life
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 226,377
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author


Sara Maitland is the British author of numerous works of fiction, including the Somerset Maugham Award–winning Daughter of Jerusalem, and several nonfiction books, including A Book of Silence. Born in 1950, she studied at Oxford University and lives in Galloway, Scotland.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 5, 2014

    In How to Be Alone, Sara Maitland offers an interesting historic

    In How to Be Alone, Sara Maitland offers an interesting historical/cultural view of solitude and considers its place in modern life. She
    presents the meaning and value of being alone as a sort of pendulum that has swung back and forth in popularity through time. I'm not
     sure I agree with a conclusion based on such limited evidence. Just because ancient Romans valued public life to excess doesn't mean
    the same was true of other cultures in existence at the time. What about China and the Near East? 

    I'm also not sure Maitland makes her case that a strong preference for solitude is seen as a huge eccentricity in modern western culture.
     Rather, we seem to be living in an era when widely differing modes of living are acceptable. A lot, of course, may depend on profession
    and age. In the corporate world, being reclusive might indeed get someone pigeonholed as sensitive or introverted or a "deep thinker."
    School-age kids and young adults who like to be alone probably run a greater risk of peer and parental backlash than older people do.
    Also, Maitland doesn't really address how modern technology has blurred the lines of what constitutes "being alone." People can now
    carry on active social lives without ever leaving their homes. Yet, physically, they are still alone.  

    Maitland does admit that her previous memoir/cultural history A BOOK OF SILENCE suffered a bit from the confusion of the terms "alone"
     and "silence." The same confusion is present in HOW TO BE ALONE, but I don't think it's a flaw. Rather, the two concepts naturally share
     the same space. Kind of like conjoined twins, you can't easily tease them apart or examine one without considering the other.

    I have to agree with Maitland that most people could benefit from expanding their capacity for being alone. More and more of us end up
    alone--through death or divorce or just long life spans. It pays to learn to be comfortable with your own company. Also, young people who
     don't need to be part of a gang have the opportunity to develop their own interests and talents. Maitland provides numerous exercises for
     those who might want to experiment with solitude. Such as going to a crowded place by yourself or taking a trip alone or indulging in
     periods of private reverie. 

    I highly recommend HOW TO BE ALONE. It provides a lot of material for discussion in one concise, thoughtful package. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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