The Lost Art of Walking

Adventure awaits!
by Geoff Nicholson | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 9781594489983 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 1/21/2020
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Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, January 21, 2020
I got this hardcover at a local Savers thrift shop. Subtitled "the history, science, philosophy, and literature of pedestrianism," it's certainly an interesting spin on the "biographies of things" sub-genre!

Later (July 2020): It opens with the author suffering a severe accident through falling down during a walk, leading to an exploration of the development of upright-walking postures in hominids, and examples of other famous walkers who've had accidents (including Thomas Jefferson - who knew? - and Oliver Sacks, whose A Leg to Stand On expands his own accident into a study of some very odd neurological issues).

Walking for exercise, for transportation, for fun... and for inspiration - Charles Dickens was notorious for spending hours out walking at a rapid clip, covering many miles, while working out his next plots.

The author came up with some interesting variations on the usual walks, too - he chose to attempt to walk twenty miles along London's Oxford Street in a single day, going back and forth along the route (the street is *not* 20 miles long!), and observing how the businesses, street traffic, and other pedestrians varied over time. A bit more observation than I'd care to commit to, but it sounded like a fascinating way of seeing familiar territory through new eyes. Another time he came up with a plan to walk Manhattan streets in the pattern of a martini glass while fitting in stops at bars for actual martinis - and he found an area of the map where this was actually doable. (He reported that the actual walk wasn't as satisfying, as the map-eye-view of the pattern wasn't something he could feel while walking. Though nowadays a GPS phone could cheerfully sketch the pattern for you, so that might feel different.)

There are meditative walks in the wilderness (modern and historical), a potentially-catastrophic walk in the desert of Western Australia, where the author and his girlfriend wandered away from their vehicle without realizing how easy it is to get disoriented. They found their way back, after a couple of hours of increasing panic, but I suspect that was a lesson thoroughly learned!

A fun mix of history, travel, memoir, and introspection - and it did make me want to go for more walks. If only it wasn't so hot just now {wry grin}.

Released 7 mos ago (7/28/2020 UTC) at Little Free Library, Heritage Rail Trail in Nashua, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in the Little Free Library on this very warm day; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2020 Seeking Septads challenge. ***

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