The classic guidebook to everything from paper airplanes to spool tanks to slingshots is back in print, and is as fun, inventive, and charming as ever.
How to Do Nothing literally tells "how to do nothing with nobody all alone by yourself"real things, fascinating things, the things that you did when you were a kid, or your parents did when they were kids. This is a book to free your kid from video games for a few hours, a handbook on the avoidance of boredom, a primer on the uses of solitude, a child's declaration of independence. If you don't remember how to make a spool tank, what to do with an old umbrella, whether "pennies" come before or after "spank the baby" in mumbly-peg, or how to make rubber-band guns, slings, or clamshell bracelets, it's OK because Robert Paul Smith has collected all of this and more in How to Do Nothing. It's a book for kids, but parents are not prohibited from reading it.
|Publisher:||Tin House Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.40(d)|
|Age Range:||8 - 13 Years|
About the Author
Robert Paul Smith is the author of the best-selling Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing. and of the novels So It Doesn’t Whistle, The Journey, Because of My Love, and The Time and the Place. Smith was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Mount Vernon, New York, and graduated from Columbia College in 1936. He worked as a writer with CBS Radio.
Paul Collins is a writer specializing in history, memoir, and unusual antiquarian literature. His nine books have been translated into eleven languages, and include Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books (2003) and The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars (2011). Collins lives in Oregon, where he is chair and professor of English at Portland State University.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Disclosure: my dad wrote this book. I know everything in it really works, because my brother and I tested them all when he was writing it, while our mom did the illustrations. That was back in 1958, but polly-noses and pin pianos and that thing with no name you make with a wishbone and a matchstick and chewing gum that sits quietly on the table and then startles everyone by suddenly jumping into the air, all work just as well as ever. In a web posting, environmental writer Brad Hurley said "Probably my favorite how-to book is Robert Paul Smith's 'How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself.' It's an instruction book for projects and games that kids can do by themselves... Smith writes exactly as if he were an older kid explaining this stuff to a younger kid. No condescension, exactly the right tone, and a judicious use of drawings. I remember loving this book when I was about 8 years old, and I love it now at 45." By the way, it cost $2.95 in 1958 and the Bureau of Labor Statistics website says that's the same buying power as $22.05 today, so at $11.21 I think you could call it a bargain. Yes, that's for a hardbound, not a paperback, which is a good thing because you might want to keep this book around for a while.