Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Every great book reminds us that we're all alone in the world. At least this one provides us with the means to entertain ourselves while we're here." and#151; Lemony Snicket
"It's what you'd get if you crossed the Boy Scout Handbook with The Anarchist's Cookbook, and it's definitely the wildest how-to manual I've seen this year." and#151;Greg Cowles, The New York Times Paper Cuts blog
"What a joy to give children something they can do without 'hollering for help'...How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself is replete with the sort of fun that childhood should be, and too rarely is." and#151;Blogcritics.com
"His book is timeless and remarkably timely in both spirit and hands-on ingenuity." and#151;Brainpickings
"Had I known about it, Robert Paul Smith's 1958 book, 'How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself,' would have been my Bible. Smith gets down to the nitty-gritty on the first page: 'These are things you can do by yourself,' he writes. 'You don't need any help from your mother or your father or anybody.'"and#151;Laurie Hertzel, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"This classic 1958 guide reintroduces kids to those natural urges that have to turn random objects into crazy great stuff...Readers will love that everything in this book was invented by kids and passed along by kids, that nothing costs money and that each of the projects is a seat-of-the-pants creation."and#151;Where the Best Books Are!
"You'll never hear 'I'm bored' again with this illustrated guide to simple, nostalgic fun."and#151;Canadian Family
First published in 1958, this book frees children from video games for a few hours, offering a handbook on the avoidance of boredom, a primer on solitude--a child's declaration of independence. Illustrations.
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.
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 novelsSo It Doesn't Whistle, The Journey, Because of My Love, andThe 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.