Book Review: Bored and Brilliant

Author: Manoush Zomorodi
Genre: Self Help, Technology, Creativity
Publisher: Pan Macmillan

For a lot of us, ‘only boring people get bored!’ was a constant theme to our quieter childhood moments. Increasingly as a society, we’re training ourselves to be in constant motion, to look busy even when floundering for something to do. And as we turn our focus towards screens, consuming media to fill every second with something beyond the boredom, something gets lost.


Being busy is akin to saintliness these days, but stepping back, and being alone with our thoughts and feelings is increasingly proving itself to be the key to unlocking our creativity, our happiness and job satisfaction, to making our relationships more meaningful and our sleep deeper and more healing.

‘Bored And Brilliant’ is a must-read if you’ve ever found yourself staring at your phone long after you’ve picked it up to do a quick, easy task. If you find yourself scrolling through social media, liking everything and feeling nothing about anything you read, it needs to be at the top of the read pile. ‘Bored and Brilliant’ started its life as a weeklong challenge hosted on WNYC radio show and podcast ‘Note To Self’ that shocked the station with the incredibly response it garnered. Over twenty thousand people raised their hands to participate, following along to discover what life looks like without a screen in the way.

As a book, ‘Bored And Brilliant’ fleshes out the challenges with more research, and anecdotes to help you through the realisation that tech addiction is really a thing, and far too many of us are completely unaware of how much time and energy we devote to phones and computers. ‘Spend less time with your tech’ sounds like an easy premise, the sort that requires plenty of eye-rolling and a couple of ‘well, duh’ moments. And yet, it’s at times a deeply uncomfortable experience that can leave you feeling oddly guilty. FOMO (fear of missing out) isn’t as innocent a concept as we might have been led to believe.

Author Manoush Zomorodi doesn’t shy away from just how uncomfortable this all can be, which makes the challenge a lot easier to stick with. There’s comfort in knowing that thousands of people found themselves glancing longingly at their phones, that it wasn’t as easy for anyone as we’d all assumed. When we start making space for ourselves in our lives, it can be hard to overcome the idea that perpetual busy-ness is a virtue. And when our mental vacations and sanity ports involve whatever fad game is hidden in our apps collection, the idea of relinquishing that hold can hurt.

If the thought of deleting ‘Candy Crush’ from your phone makes you feel a little ill, this is a book you probably need to read. But it’s just as important for those of us who roll our eyes and laugh off the difficulties. ‘Bored And Brilliant’ certainly isn’t the easiest challenge to complete, but it’s well worth it.

‘Bored And Brilliant’ is published by Pan Macmillan, and is available at leading retailers.

Rating: 4 stars

Review by Kylie Thompson

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