In How to Do Nothing, Jenny Odell wrote about the importance of disconnecting from the “attention economy” to spend time in quiet contemplation. But what if you don’t have time to spend? In her new book, Saving Time, Odell argues that we are living on the wrong clock . . . and it is destroying us. Jia Tolentino calls Saving Time “an inimitable gift.”
Join us on Wednesday, March 8 at 7:00 p.m. ET on Zoom for a conversation between Odell and Pulitzer Prize–winning science writer Ed Yong to launch Saving Time.
In this exclusive conversation (and the only virtual event on the Saving Time book tour), Odell will discuss her investigation into the fundamental structure of our society—in which she found that the clock we live by was built for profit, not people. This is why our lives, even in leisure, have come to seem like a series of moments to be bought, sold, and processed ever more efficiently.
Each ticket to this event includes a hardcover copy of Saving Time, fulfilled by one of our bookstore partners Literati Bookstore, Skylight Books, The Book Stall, or White Whale Bookstore, and admission to the virtual conversation. Select the bookstore of your choice or the one closest to you to support.
We can’t wait for you to hear from Odell about this book, which Yong says is “one of the most important books I’ve read in my life.”
About the Book
Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock
“Saving Time’s real triumph lies in her road map for experiencing time outside the capitalist clock. . . . Expect to feel changed by this radical way of seeing.”—Esquire
In her first book, How to Do Nothing, Jenny Odell wrote about the importance of disconnecting from the “attention economy” to spend time in quiet contemplation. But what if you don’t have time to spend?
In order to answer this seemingly simple question, Odell took a deep dive into the fundamental structure of our society and found that the clock we live by was built for profit, not people. This is why our lives, even in leisure, have come to seem like a series of moments to be bought, sold, and processed ever more efficiently. Odell shows us how our painful relationship to time is inextricably connected not only to persisting social inequities but to the climate crisis, existential dread, and a lethal fatalism.
This dazzling, subversive, and deeply hopeful book offers us different ways to experience time—inspired by pre-industrial cultures, ecological cues, and geological timescales—that can bring within reach a more humane, responsive way of living. As planet-bound animals, we live inside shortening and lengthening days alongside gardens growing, birds migrating, and cliffs eroding; the stretchy quality of waiting and desire; the way the present may suddenly feel marbled with childhood memory; the slow but sure procession of a pregnancy; the time it takes to heal from injuries. Odell urges us to become stewards of these different rhythms of life in which time is not reducible to standardized units and instead forms the very medium of possibility.
Saving Time tugs at the seams of reality as we know it—the way we experience time itself—and rearranges it, imagining a world not centered on work, the office clock, or the profit motive. If we can “save” time by imagining a life, identity, and source of meaning outside these things, time might also save us.