I think I have mentioned before, my favorite branch of the KCLS has a new non fiction table. So dangerous for me. I can’t help but fall madly in love with half the contents and take them all home despite not being able to read that many books in a week (nonfiction takes time to savor and make notes from.) Timekeepers: How the World Became Obsessed With Time by Simon Garfield was one such read.
Basic Summary (Courtesy of Amazon):
Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana. The Beatles learn to be brilliant in an hour and a half. An Englishman arrives back from Calcutta but refuses to adjust his watch. Beethoven has his symphonic wishes ignored. A US Senator begins a speech that will last for 25 hours. The horrors of war are frozen at the click of a camera. A woman designs a ten-hour clock and reinvents the calendar. Roger Bannister lives out the same four minutes over a lifetime. And a prince attempts to stop time in its tracks.
Timekeepers is a book about our obsession with time and our desire to measure it, control it, sell it, film it, perform it, immortalize it and make it meaningful. It has two simple intentions: to tell some illuminating stories, and to ask whether we have all gone completely nuts.
This book is essentially many small essays on the nature of time. Some articles were fascinating and I couldn’t hear people calling for my attention. Invention of the Timetable, Vietnam Napalm Girl, Time Tactics that Work!, and Life is Short, Art is Long were fascinating to me. New bits of information I didn’t know, notes on books to read after I finish the stack falling over on my desk.