Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that should absolutely be put at the top of your TBR pile. Recommended books will vary across genre and age category and include shiny new books, older books you may have missed, and some classics I suggest finally getting around to. Make space for another pile of books on your floor because here we go!

Today’s pick is a nonfiction book that feels totally counterintuitive while being incredibly fascinating.

cover of Bored & Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive & Creative Self by Manoush Zomorodi

Bored & Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive & Creative Self by Manoush Zomorodi

The premise of this book is that we need boredom in order to foster creativity while at the same time, boredom is increasingly hard to come by, especially with our current level of access to technology. I want to make it very clear that Bored & Brilliant is not anti-technology. I love technology! You’re reading this right now using technology. Some of my reading is done with the help of technology. The author is also a fan and user of technology, but wants readers to be engaged with technology in a more deliberate way rather than the mindless filling in the silences or gaps in stimulation that happen in elevators, on transit, and so forth.

Zomorodi created the Bored & Brilliant project in 2015 to try to find out, “If we changed our relationship to our gadgets, could we generate bigger and better ideas? Would there be a ripple effect of changes to the way we work, the way we parent, the way we relate to one another? Could this change the way we see the world?” It is a seven-step project that this book goes through, along with research about boredom and how technology affects our brains. The project is presented in a way that allows for readers to do it on our own.

One of the sections that really stuck with me was when the author begins discussing how technology has affected people’s ability to do deep reading. The internet has changed how we read, not only via language but scrolling and hyperlinks. It’s no longer the linear activity it often was. Zomorodi learns that people are losing the ability to “deep read,” that is, to sit with a book or novel that is involved and to focus and retain the information. As a reader, a writer, a librarian, a book enthusiast and professional, this is terrifying to me.

Another section that really stuck with me is about how tech professionals and visionaries, like Steve Jobs, limited or denied their own children access to tech. This alone is so telling and chilling to say the least.

Each time I read this book, it resets my relationship to my mobile phone and I’m grateful for it.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

That’s it for now, book-lovers!


Find me on Book Riot, the All the Books podcast, and Twitter.

Find more books by subscribing to Book Riot Newsletters.