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This Is Not a Book Paperback – September 1, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Keri Smith is a bestselling author, illustrator, and thinker. Her books demonstrate a 'learn by doing approach', and are being used in school curriculums all over the world as a way of fostering non-traditional methods of exploration. She also teaches and conducts workshops based on her non-traditional techniques across North America. Her books include: Wreck This Journal, How to Be an Explorer of the World, This is Not a Book, Mess - A Manual of Accidents and Mistakes, Finish This Book, and Pocket Scavenger. She enjoys spending time with her husband, experimental musician Jefferson Pitcher, and two children Tilden and Ida.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Books (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399535217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399535215
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Keri Smith is an author/illustrator turned guerilla artist. She is the author of several bestselling books about creativity including This is Not a Book (2009 Perigee), How to be an Explorer of the World -the Portable Life/Art Museum,( 2008 Perigee), Wreck this Journal (2007 Perigee). Her newest book, Mess: A Manual of Accidents and Mistakes will be released fall 2010 by Penguin Books. She is the author of the popular weblog the Wish Jar, and writes on occasion for a variety of magazines. Keri spends her days playing with her husband and son, and divides her time between upstate New York, and the countryside of Canada.


Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#61 in Books > Self-Help
#61 in Books > Self-Help

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 86 people found the following review helpful By H. Grove (errantdreams) TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
This Is Not A Book is much like its predecessor (Wreck This Journal), except that it pushes the boundaries of your comfort zone much further. A handful of exercises exhort you to put yourself forward publicly in one way or another, or to risk losing your copy of the book to the results of an exercise. For example, one exercise encourages you to leave This Is Not A Book someplace overnight and see what happens.

Others have less of an element of social or fiscal risk to them. An "Idea Formulation Generator" has you make three separate lists of terms (things found in nature, objects you use every day, and words you like), combine one from each list randomly, and use to come up with an idea for a new concept or product. The pages are filled with images, frames, white space, thought bubbles, and anything else needed to leave room for your experiments. The only problem I found is that there were a few places where the layout neglected to leave a blank page in the right place, resulting in conflicting exercises.

If you just can't get yourself to leave your comfort zone and try wacky things, then Keri Smith's publications (I can't really call this one a book, can I?) are not for you! Or maybe they're aimed particularly at you, because you'll need the most help loosening up. (In that case, try Wreck This Journal first, to get your feet wet.) This Is Not A Book is a great method for forcing yourself to think outside the box, color outside the lines, etc., and that's definitely a boost to creativity!

[Review copy provided by publisher]
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37 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Shai on June 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book to do with my husband, who just so happens to be my BFF as well, To bring us closer and teach us more about ourselves and each other. Well we just got it today and I gotta tell you it was one of the best things I could have spent my money on. We are already having a blast with it. Which is of course the main goal. We were reading the first task: keep this book with you in full view at all times. And it says in the beginning taht only you can decide how to use this-is not a- book, and only you can interpret the instructions how ever you see them, Well we asked ourselves WHY should we do this task, well to us that instruction is meant so that at any given time when ever we feel inspiration strike or a moment of creativity we can just grab it and get creative on that page. for him that means drawing something for me it means writing down an idea. And yet for somebody else that instruction might have a totally different purpose. So you can see how this book really brings out your creativity and forces you to think, and even will teach you somethings about yourself that maybe you did not know before. If you are going to spend your money on a book I highly recommend this one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By habeous on January 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an intriguing little thing. If you have imagination, then it's perfect. Drawing skills are also a plus, but not necessary. Many activities are physical. The best thing about this book? It's yours, and it will be unique as soon as you begin or end. Not for the weak of spirit.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By altipton on December 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was having difficulty deciding what to get our almost 14-year-old niece for her birthday. After reading the reviews and checking out the "Look Inside" features, I decided to get this book and also "Wreck This Journal" (duct tape version), also by Keri. Our niece is on the mature side for her age, but I realized I would have loved this when I was in school. The reaction was great! She instantly started filling in both books. Both books are similar, but different. She hardly put the book down for the rest of the night, as far as we could tell. We were at her house for several hours after she opened her gifts and she was busy with a pen almost the entire time. Very happy with my purchase. I can't give a specific review on either book as I can't remember which activities were in which book, but she was laughing and enjoying them all. At one time, there was a very loud thud on the floor. We all jumped. It was just my niece throwing her book across the room and laughing. I guess one of the books told her to do so. It was so funny once we realized what had happened.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Raney on January 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
Huge hit with the 10 year old recipient!!! Just at the age where perfectionism takes over schoolwork, they get something to muck around with and express themselves!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jennyissweet on December 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was really really good. It was in great condition and it basically came the next day. I was so excited to use it and guess what? I'm finished with it. I finished it in like 2 days.
Thank you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeepdream on April 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have done Wreck This Journal and prefer to get creatively crazy on my own. I suggest to tweak, paint over, stick things on, cut out, marker over, or paste/glue pictures to cover any prompts you don't want to do w/any one else.

This would be GREAT for a party or group~!

I gave a copy to my niece to do w/her friends before they graduate 6th grade and move on to Junior High ~ one more blast at being goofy before it is UNCOOL to that~!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CayleyAlaina on March 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an artist I can say that this book will definitely get the creative juices flowing, but not in the same way as Wreck This Journal did for me. I found that the tasks in this book were a little more demanding, and WTJ had more fun, well, let's face it, destructive activities to do that just felt freeing.
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