Books // My weekend reading

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How to Connect with Nature

by Tristan Gooley

I’ve been picking my way through this book since I found it in Oxfam Books Knutsford after Christmas. It’s the perfect book to pick up and read a quick chapter, with some nice illustrations and easy to read excerpts. I’ve had a couple of books from the School of life series, which are all written by experts and philosophers in a really accessible way – with loads of different topics to choose from. As we were going camping this weekend, it was a no-brainer for me to take this book, and attempt to connect with nature on a more physical level. The good thing is, you don’t need to be a hardcore survivalist to enjoy this piece of work. It’s aimed at making nature more open and accessible to everyone, even city dwellers like myself. The book begins by highlighting how we have lost touch with nature, and rather than lamenting it and blaming those of us who have office jobs, offers gentle tips and advice on how we can reconnect.

There are little techniques and exercises to try along the way, such as switching on our senses and listening and smelling the world around us. Or to head out on a blindfolded walk to see how much more notice about our surroundings. Thanks to this book, I even know the direction of the prevailing wind! Still didn’t help me to pitch the tent in a non-windy spot, though…

I love how gently informative this book is. It’s not in your face philosophy that reprimands you for losing touch with nature. Rather it’s an ambling exercise in getting back in touch, encouraging us to do more, notice more and feel more. I’ll definitely be dipping in and out of this one for a while to come.

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