How to live on 24 hours a day by Arnold Bennet

11:23 AM



It's so strange that the book How to live on 24 hours a day by Arnold Bennet is not more popular. I used to say I didn't have enough time to read or study but this book has certainly killed that excuse. It offers tips to manage time in order to both read and ponder over what you read - which is incredibly important.  

Despite being written in 1912, it's not as stuffy as you'd thing. It's actually very clear and even funny  sometimes. Here's a part I really like (the highlights are mine) from chapter 5, "Tennis and the immortal soul":

You get into the morning train with your newspaper, and you calmly and majestically give yourself up to your newspaper. You do not hurry. You know you have at least half an hour of security in front of you. As your glance lingers idly at the advertisements of shipping and of songs on the outer pages, your air is the air of a leisured man, wealthy in time, of a man from some planet where there are a hundred and twenty-four hours a day instead of twenty-four. I am an impassioned reader of newspapers. I read five English and two French dailies, and the news-agents alone know how many weeklies, regularly. I am obliged to mention this personal fact lest I should be accused of a prejudice against newspapers when I say that I object to the reading of newspapers in the morning train. Newspapers are produced with rapidity, to be read with rapidity. (...)The idea of devoting to them thirty or forty consecutive minutes of wonderful solitude (for nowhere can one more perfectly immerse one's self in one's self than in a compartment full of silent, withdrawn, smoking males) is to me repugnant. I cannot possibly allow you to scatter priceless pearls of time with such Oriental lavishness. You are not the Shah of time. Let me respectfully remind you that you have no more time than I have. 

I fit perfectly into the description of a person who acts as if they had all the time in the world, though I do I try to change constantly. 

The only thing the book advises I failed putting in practice is to study and focus on one subject. I really wished I could read about one area only. I guess in this respect I'm a bit like Dickie Greenleaf from The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Byt the way, this book is available online on Project Guttenberg and Librivox (audiobook).

Do you struggle to find time for reading and studying? Can you focus on only one subject?

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2 comments

  1. to me, it's really hard to focus on one subject. sometimes when i'm playing the piano, i think i should be reading a book. when i'm drawing, i think i should be playing the guitar. it's terrible. not to mention when i'm sleepy and can't put my mind to what i'm doing...
    i get really worried about how much time i have. sometimes i think i have a lot of time to get where i want to get. but sometimes i think i'm getting nowhere. it's really scary, but i think we have to try our best everyday, right?

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  2. I think it is already a big step realizing - truly realizing - that time is one of our most important possessions (which I'm not saying is something I do, at least not all the time). So if we are doing something meaningful we can be happy with that and not focus on what we are not doing.

    I wish I was as productive as you though! Have a great weekend ;)

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