"Simplify, simplify, simplify." I never read books for leisure in high school. This is the only book that had me hooked. It is probably one of the first books that changed the way I view the world. Not once as a teenager did I take a hard look at what materialistic values the media shoved down my throat before I read this book. Six years after high school, I want to say that I disagree with Thoreau by saying that life is more enjoyable, at least to me, with complexity. Simple thinking devoid of challenging the mind is boring and unfulfilling. Living off the land only satisfies only the bottom rung of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. I can't imagine the boredom Thoreau felt as he relived the same day after day, farming, walking, reading, and writing. A deprivation of social interaction and living a life devoid of novel experiences creates an unchallenged brain with fewer and less complicated nerve connections. People who live through the same routine everyday experience time as if it were going by faster. The opposite is true for people who seek novel experiences. This is one reason why we enjoy taking vacations to far away places. I think he's spot on about detaching oneself from the demanding pressure of over-consumption en-grained in American culture but I think he's wrong about absolutely detaching oneself from society.
Five stars for Thoreau's thoughts. One star for the book itself. It looks like garbage. The type face is not Times Roman Numeral or Arial. I don't know what the type face it is but it looks weird and uneasy on the eyes. The pages are made wide and long so the page number is fewer. This makes it hard to hold with one hand. The paragraphs did not use any tab stops. Again, making it more difficult on the eyes. It just skips one line. The text size appear larger than what is found in most other books. The pages feel like construction paper. Do you see the irony in me making a big deal out of the superficial appearance of this version of Thoreau's Walden?