Cover Image: Pottering


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Member Reviews

This is a delightful, easy going book all about the art of pottering. It covers what pottering is, why it shouldn't be about procrastinating, getting off your phones and some fun ways to potter about.I love a good potter about so the title drew me in and the first few paragraphs are about making a cup of tea so another of my favourite things. How could I not enjoy it? It's an easy read and quite short. Really fun little book
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The art of pottering (or footering as my parents called it) isn’t always seen as a good thing. It can be seen as pointless, as a waste of time, as achieving little, but Ms McGovern is here to tell us differently. It seems a rather fruitless exercise reading a book about doing nothing and yet after a few pages, you're caught up in the reverie. This is as much an examination of our current way of living as a call to slowing down. There are simple ideas, like buy a cheap wristwatch so you don’t keep looking at your phone for the time and getting caught up in emails and social media. 

This isn’t a huge book and it’s an easy read, but it does make you think, if you go into it with an open mind. There is an element of mindfulness, of slow living, of paying attention but it is also a manifesto to take a hard look at what you spend your time on and consider if just pausing and having a potter won’t actually improve your health.

Recommended if you want a fast, light read to shake you out of a rut - but don't read it too fast or you’ll miss the message. 

I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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One of the most silliest, most oddest, most charming books you'll read. When, in the opening pages, I was given detailed instructions on how to make a cup of tea, I wasn't quite sure what to think. By the end, I got it. Not one to read cover to cover in one sitting, just pick up and put down when you're pottering, read a few pages, drift onto something else. I'm off to organise my herb rack now...
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This book was novel change of pace for me mostly because it was a non-fiction book but also because it falls into the category of "Health, Mind and Body" or "Self-Help" which I normally avoid.

The reason I opted to request a review copy is that I was curious. The concept of Pottering is a very British thing, imo, and it has a very specific meaning. To me, you are not pottering around your house at the weekend if you're spending it harrassed and running around, or playing computer games or mindlessly watching tv and movies. 
Pottering, to me, was about getting stuff done but almost absent-mindedly getting stuff done. 
It's soothing, calming... Peaceful. 
It's not about attacking an unending to-do list with single-minded purpose. 
It's not about large scale projects like re-painting a kitchen or laying a patio, it's slower and more subtle than that. 

Pottering: A Cure For Modern Life re-enforced my perception of what it means to potter but it also broadened my view and made me realise that aimlessly going for a walk and staring at the ducks on the river - just because - is also pottering. 
The book defines it as, "to occupy oneself in a pleasant way but without plan or purpose."

The first chapter explains the basics: Making do with what you've got, don't try too hard, movement, keeping it local and keeping it digital free.
While I'd never have categorised it in those terms myself they make perfect sense as do the examples and explanations the author gives for each point.
I found myself nodding away in agreement as it's pottering in a nutshell but so is the point that not all elements are of equal importance and the emphasis on each will vary person to person and task to task. 
The subsequent chapters explore each element in more detail. 

The book is easy to read, relatable, amusing and makes perfect sense. 

The take away points for me are that:
- Pottering is not a chore. 
Yes, you may be pottering doing household tasks but you're deriving some pleasure/satisfaction from it.
- What you want and what you need are very different things.
Improvise and compromise!
- Don't try too hard
Pottering is not about pressure, it's not supposed to be stressful, it's a productive calming activity.
- It's not all about household tasks!
You can potter around local shops. You can potter around a park. It's not all about the house.
- Everybody potters whether they call it that or not
- There is no one way to potter
- We could all do with more time away from digital devices and social media
- Pottering helps you think and mentally declutter
- Pottering around is not procrastination
- Pottering is good for the soul

Ultimately, pottering is about finding peace and joy in the little things. 
It's about switching off from the stresses of the world and being happy with what you've got, living in the moment, appreciating the little things. Many "self-help" techniques (like mindfulness) try to impart a similar principle but because of how they're presented they become a "thing" and just another something that you're "failing" to do or keep up with. 
Pottering... It's just a way of life. 
I find I'm happiest and more relaxed when I've spent a day pottering around the house so I guess my take away from reading this book is I need to switch off the electronics a little more often and just potter! I'd be happier and more content for doing so.

Ultimately, I recommend giving this book a read and seeing if adopting a pottering approach would be a positive thing for you. I don't see how it could fail to be a positive thing for anybody and I feel a little bit sad that with the pace of life nowadays we're losing the subtle art of it. 


PS - Sitting down for 10 minutes, drinking a cup of tea and reading a book in between tasks is a valid pottering action! 😉

PPS - The only truly weird suggestion I found was writing a cheque to pay for something just for funsies... Do retailers still accept cheques?! Banks in the UK aren't even issuing cheque books as standard anymore so I'm confused by this one. *shrug*
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Pottering is the British phrase for puttering around in the US.  It is doing something small and inconsequential.  This book is something like it because it is small and not deep.  It does have beautiful illustrations and as an American I loved reading the British phrases in the book.  
If you have an idle hour to while away, you might like this book, especially if you are an Anglophile like I am.
I received a complementary copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This is an interesting little book to speend a few hours pottering over!  If it's to be believed then I spend quite a bit of my time pottering already.
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A nice little book to relax with on a lazy afternoon.  Full of ideas for chilling and take your time with things.  Your are encouraged to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life.  I liked some of the ideas but wouldn't enjoy everything.  I didn't find it all inspiring but liked the inclusion of illustrations.  Overall a nice book but probably not one I would choose to buy.
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The author has given us permission and guidance on a more relaxed way of life that I fully embrace . A cross between Martha Stewart and Jon Kabat-Zinn, some people may need the detailed humorous instruction that Anna has provided . Thanks to NetGalley for an enjoyable read .
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What a delightful little read this was, a gentle reminder for us all to slow down, reduce time spent mindlessly online and start enjoying the simple pleasures that life has to offer. I shall certainly be pottering down to my local bookstore to purchase a copy.

*Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review*
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This book makes for a really interesting read, especially in the time of lockdown when most of us have had to slow down, like it or not! 
I thought it was great in its relaxed point of view.
I'm definitely taking lots away from this one.
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Pottering by Anna McGovern.  Pottering or puttering as I grew up knowing it.  Just puttering around...who knew that one day it would be seen as stress reliever and a “new” way of life.  Insightful and enjoyable book and I finally got the squeaky hinge fixed on the kitchen cabinet. 

Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.
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Pottering is exactly what you would expect from a book of that title. It is gentle and refreshing, lovely to look at it with its simple and expressive illustrations and unhurried.  It is an antidote to the rush and expectation of modern life where there is simply too much all the time, a bombardment of stimuli most of which are too distant to be acted upon and merely create frustration and anxiety. 

The purpose of a human being is not to have an opinion on absolutely everything, whatever you might feel from your social media feeds. We are not experts on very much at all, so why do we act as though we are as we argue with people we haven’t even met about subjects that do not impact our daily lives? 

Life is a gift, but so often it feels like a chore. When you stop to think about that it is incredibly sad. How did we get to a place where we are constantly dissatisfied, chasing the next thing? Pottering helps put it all back into a little perspective. It is fine to be aspirational but it is important to consider what we are aspiring to and why. 

It might help to take some time out to do little things, moving from one small task to another, emptying ourselves of all the false desires that whirl around us in advertising and the media. Sometimes it might help to simply potter. This is a simple book and it asks little of you, it would be a perfect gift for a friend from whom too much is currently being asked. Slow down, refocus, let go of cares and make the time to stop and stare.
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This cute little guide reminds readers of the quiet joys of puttering around, living from moment to moment with no big goals in mind, taking pleasure in each moment and not living with our minds either in the future or with thoughts of how others will judge our actions via social media. I enjoyed this quick read and found it timely.
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We know our children are over-scheduled and overly attached to their electronic devices. We know they need unstructured time to be ‘bored’ so that the creative juices can flow. But what about us, as adults?  

In Pottering. A Cure for Modern Life, Anna McGovern explains the British concept and encourages you to dive right in. In my (American) world, I think ‘pottering’ is a synonym for ‘tinkering’. In any case, you need no exact plan. In fact, you might have dabbled in pottering in the past without even realizing it.  And it might be just the reprieve from life that you need right now. McGovern shows you have to take a simple task like making a cup of tea and turn it into a practice that encourages taking pleasure in the small things in life. It leads to freedom and resourcefulness and likely includes some searching, rediscovering, sorting, moving, and organizing. But take note - pottering is not akin to mindfulness. Quite the opposite. There’s no drive to be ambitious/productive with your free time. If you’re looking for ideas on how to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with yourself, this book will help! 

Pottering can take place in any environment. Me? I find myself pottering in my yard. My gardening affords me the perfect opportunity to potter on a regular basis. I’m thrilled to formally adopt the practice, and have written about it in my blog at  

The written content is this book is worth five stars. However, I think the cover and illustrations are lacking somewhat. So, the lack of visual appeal brings the overall rating down to four stars. 

I was offered an advance digital copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
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At first I wasn’t sure what to think about this book.  It almost seemed too simple, but it’s a nice change of pace from being told how to be more productive and fit more things in our day.  It might have even given me a greater appreciation (and a name) for all of those little things we do like fixing the holes in your clothes or wiping down the counter or organizing your books.  And they might seem like little things, but they add up and give us a small sense of accomplishment and maybe even mindfulness.
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This is the loveliest book about one of my favourite things to do.  It explains the whole idea of "pottering" and what it means to "potter" about and do the most mundane things, we enjoy, like make a cup of tea or clear out that long neglected cupboard., that has turned into Narnia.

The author explains the difference between doing things that bring you joy and inner peace, as opposed to those things we do that cause us stress..  It also has some lovely soft and dreamy illustrations, which showcase the chapters perfectly and fit in well with the world of "pottering"

A lovely book, that i will return to for grounding every time i want a "potter"

Would thoroughly recommend this book to all mt "pottery" friends, family and anyone in-between
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Unable to download on my kindle. Shame as I was looking forward to reading. Hopefully this could get sorted.
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What a delightful book. It turns out I Potter well. I knew it. I’d buy this book fora present. It’s a fabulous little afternoon read, with a cuppa and dappled sunlight through your curtains. The illustrations are very cute too.
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A coffee table book that is very apt at the minute. Taking life at a gentler pace and being less digital is definitely something worth thinking about. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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I really enjoyed this book as an antidote to all the productivity and personal development books that are on the market at the moment. It highlights the absolute simple pleasures in life and the impact the can have on your life. A book that filled me with joy!
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