Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Lost Art of Walking (copy)

I walk. I like to walk. I walk to clear my mind. I walk for exercise. I walk to think through problems. I walk to socialize. I walk to commune with nature. I walk to find money. I walk to pick up cans. I walk in the morning. I walk in the evening. I walk to escape. I walk therefore I am.

One day last summer, I was south of town walking towards home when I saw a white ball bobbling an inch off the ground around 20 feet in front of my path. It looked like a ping pong ball suspended in the air. As I got closer, I could see it was a spider, about the size of my fingernail, carrying her sac of unborn across the road.

The sheer beauty of the spider’s deed enthralled me. Had I not been out walking, I would have missed this spectacular feat. Had I been in a car, well.

Last week when I stumbled upon Geoff Nicholson’s new book The Lost Art of Walking, I smiled. Really, choosing to read a book about walking is no stretch, but I worried. Would it be entertaining?

Oddly enough, he begins his treatise on walking with the story of a fall. His fall in the California hills outside his home while photographing the surrounding scenery. One misstep and Nicholson saw the ground fast approaching. Was it a rock? Perhaps a root that tripped him. We will never know, but the fall left him with a broken arm that slowed his typing ability.

As readers, we benefit from his fall. The book is entertaining on so many levels. The subtitle, The History, Science, Philosophy, and Literature of Pedestrianism, hints to a comprehensive exploration of man’s unique gait.

In the first chapter alone the discussion turns from Nicholson’s personal fall to man’s first erect step as Homo sapiens. Then the brief dialogue evolves into baby’s first steps in the womb when you thought he was kicking. Next the conversation flows into the origins for all the different forms of the word walk. Did you know our English language has over 30 examples of the word such as hoof, pace, step, tread, plod, slog, lumber, hike, etc?

One might think this book unstructured, but they would be wrong. This is a well organized, fun romp into our basic need to get from point A to B. Be sure to amble through this read.

11 comments:

Mary (Bookfan) said...

What a unique book!

Tiffany Norris said...

Sounds really good!

Sharon said...

Sounds like a cute read, with good info. thanks.

Jeane said...

I often enjoy books full of interesting information about something so commonplace, mundane- walking. Ha. Have to look this one up, now!

maggie moran said...

This is fun reading, guys! He is a seasoned writer with style that draws me in, and I'm guessing others too. PLUS - It is full of book and movie suggestions. Think about travelogues - walking!

Jeane said...

Hi again. I just gave you a blog award!. Come see.

maggie moran said...

Aw, thanks Jeane! You are too nice! :D

ricklibrarian said...

I just placed a hold!

maggie moran said...

Yay, Rick!

On Shelfari a member said, "At times this book approached the absurb with the eccentricities of various famous walkers through the ages. Characters like Mudman a man who walks with ever changing sculpture on his back. Old Leatherman who walked dressed in leather. Or Capt Barclay who walked one mile for 1000 successive hours. There were moments when he shared his family with the reader and how growing up walking influenced his life today as a writer. Overall it was difficult to read through to the end because of the many antedotes loosely woven together."

I share this b/c it is his ambling nature I adore; plus, the book inspires more reading and insight into famous peeps such as authors. Look forward to your thoughts!

nomerwahid said...

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nomerwahid said...

thank's for sharing info,..!
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