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The Book Nook: "Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything" (James Gleick)


Faster and faster.  The world moves faster, the days are going by faster... but what better time to slow down a bit, and read?

"Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything" by James Gleick is a fascinating examination of humanity's growing and insatiable need for more time- and it's pursuit of it.  He explores things from people's habit of punching the "Close Door" button in elevators in the vain hope that it'll close faster, to people who'll hit 88 seconds on the microwave instead of 90... simply because it's faster to hit 8 twice.

This book delves and explores how we've come to possess a world that moves quickly... but in which we actually have less time to spare.  He examines the fact that the "time saving" devices we create, don't seem to be actually saving us time- but rather costing us time. Time that we could be using to live life to it's fullest.

What affects on Society and humans does this acceleration of everything have?  How does this obsession with "saving time" impact our lives, and our ability to enjoy it?  Where will this constant need to race against time in order to keep our scheduled life on track lead us?

These are the sort of questions James Gleick asks, and tries to answers them with honesty and a bit of humour when possible.  You may not necessarily WANT to accept the answers- but they are at least honest ones worthy of consideration... and acting upon in many cases.

After reading this book, I started to rethink my own need for punctuality and timing- something my friends and family will admit I've been pretty impeccable about.  I realized that I needed to think about time differently, and even slow down sometimes.

Like now... as I slowly sip my beloved cup of coffee, and feel the warm glow of the sun on my face on the balcony of my apartment.

I give "Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything" a Good.

Now, if you'll excuse me- I'm going to take a few minutes more to enjoy my cup of coffee before I head to work...


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