Review: Why Time Flies

June 24, 2017 Uncategorized 6 ★★★

Review: Why Time FliesTitle: Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation
Author: Alan Burdick
Source: from publisher for review

Summary: I learned some fun facts and mostly enjoyed reading this, but it was not well organized or cohesive.

‘“Time” is the most commonly used noun in the English language; it’s always on our minds and it advances through every living moment. But what is time, exactly? Do children experience it the same way adults do? Why does it seem to slow down when we’re bored and speed by as we get older? How and why does time fly?’ In an attempt to answer this question, author Alan Burdick ‘visits the most accurate clock in the world (which exists only on paper); discovers that “now” actually happened a split-second ago; finds a twenty-fifth hour in the day; lives in the Arctic to lose all sense of time; and, for one fleeting moment in a neuroscientist’s lab, even makes time go backward.’ (source)

There were two really great parts to this book – the fun facts and the author’s own experiences and musings on time. I loved hearing about the experiences he had while researching this book. The science parts were fascinating. Some of my favorite bits included the way global time is calculated; the fascinating research being done on how we experience time; and the way our perception can mislead us. I learned a lot and I enjoyed doing it.

The less good parts of this book were where the author tried to get philosophical about time. I didn’t find anything he said particularly profound. I also didn’t feel like he want anywhere with this line of thought. The organization of the book was also poor. There were a few sections that had cohesive themes ( a section that focused on circadian rhythms, for example), but other sections were all over the place. The book also felt repetitive to me, particularly the philosophical bits that covered the same points over and over throughout the book.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and it never dragged, so I would recommend it if you’re interested in the topic. However, if you’re looking for something philosophical, there are other books that I think have succeeded much better at addressing the big questions (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, for example).

6 Responses to “Review: Why Time Flies”

    • DoingDewey

      Me too! The lack of organization in this one made it harder for to say what the point was. I prefer to come away with a clear conclusion 🙂

  1. Kim@Time2Read

    Ha! I never would have thought to do a study on why time flies!
    This could be really interesting….or it could be one of those a read a bit of and set aside…because, you know….time flies and I have a lot of books to read!

    • DoingDewey

      Haha, I see what you did there. It really is hard to get to everything!

      I wouldn’t have thought to write on this topic either! It’s a question that gets into an interesting mix of science about time and psychology.

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