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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum Paperback – October 7, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Both daring and meditative, How to Be an Explorer of the World is part Maira Kalman, part Wendy MacNaughton, part its very own kind of whimsy, delivering — beautifully — exactly what it says on the tin, with an invitation to be just a little bit more alive each day.”
—Brain Pickings

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: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; uncorrected galley proofs for limited distribution edition (October 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399534601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399534607
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lorrene Desbien on July 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book for my daughter, Sarah. She wrote in it and underlined words and left it a rag tag mess. After she passed away in a car accident when she was 16, I loved flipping through the pages seeing her thoughts and observations.
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Smith's newest book is the most recent installment in her passionate, ongoing process to distill life and the art process (indistinguishable to most artists) down to it's bare matter. If you can embrace playfulness, open courageously to the idea of art as life, are willing to turn off the television and look around you, love to challenge yourself to learn to BE and create from essence as opposed to trend or fancy, Explorer is for you.

As an author, she seems to live her life exactly the way she writes (as one can easily pick up when visiting her blog The Wish Jar Journal).

As an artist, she is apparently very well read on the subjects of art and life and willing to push beyond art school rules to find her own voice among so many artsy voices that seem to blend together these days. For an insightful, modern perspective on gathering the fodder to create amazing experiences, I was not disappointed with this book.
I completely disagree with other reviews which state that this book is not for deep thinkers. I find her simple, freshened concepts to be timely and revolutionary, just what artists have been missing from our creative processes.
I also recommend Wreck This Journal and Guerilla Art, also by Keri Smith.
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This book encourages collecting -- you'll start a collection of things you find on the ground, things you overhear, things that simply interest you and you've got no real use for. And through these collections, and the arranging and documentation of them, Keri Smith will teach you how to look at the world with new eyes. Once you've hoarded and organised thirty bits of something, you'll have a deeper understanding of the shapes and colours and wonderful uniqueness that can be found anywhere -- in rocks, leaves, sea glass, bottle tops, typography... in anything!

The exercises are inspired by different creative minds, including Leonard Cohen and Tom Robbins, and ask you to try experiencing the world through all of your senses, and documenting it using different writing techniques, photography, sketching exercises, and ways of storing, organising and arranging. Space is provided in the back for limited notes, in a lovely format, which it's possible to copy so that you have unlimited pages.

Keri Smith is, of course, famous for giving you books that you can destroy. This book is slightly different. Yes, you'll want to take it everywhere with you, and there are spaces to tape, glue, doodle and write inside, but this IS a book, not a coaster, not a place mat, not a chew-toy for your dog. It is not another exercise in creativity through wreckage, but explores a different source of inspiration, in the same easy-going, friendly and encouraging tone as all your other favourite Keri Smith books.
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Format: Paperback
this book is cleverly written and has some wonderful ideas for exploring your world. most all of them are ideas I have never seen before and want to try in my sketchbook. there are examples too. I highly recommend this book for the artist, journaler or someone that just wants to see their world with FRESH eyes!
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great book that encourages us all to get outside and experience the world! It's truly awesome. I teach environmental/ecology education, and it is really useful for coming up with new activities to do with the children.
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I purchased two of these books for different children, and each is using the book in their own ways to learn about the world in which they live. Not a day goes by that one or the other doesn't discover, on their own, something else amazing about the environment they occupy. Want to get your child away from the video games? Off the cell phone for hours at a time? Offer this book as a gift, and watch their knowledge grow page by page as they themselves become to authors of their own experiences in learning. These books are truly amazing, and do not have to be limited to children. Many bored adults who could use an inspiration that life doesn't have to be mundane can benefit from the use of this book. I recommend it for all ages and a book for each family member. If each one has his own book, discussions can begin at any time with everyone participating on different discoveries while the book has given each person the same suggestion for an 'assignment.' Fun and informative gift for anyone for any occasion.
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By Devo on September 25, 2012
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I like this book more every time I pick it up. When I first opened it and flipped through the pages I was slightly disappointed. The structure of the book seemed like it was put together slapdash without any real thought, and it seemed to me that all of the fun pictures were there to serve the purpose of filling in blank space.

After giving the book several chances it started to grow on me and I realized that its real purpose was to make the reader start thinking in a different way by challenging the reader to complete odd tasks, or at least tasks that are out of the ordinary. One of the books main challenges is to get the reader, or explorer, to start recognizing patterns in an every day environment. The book challenges the reader to do this in many different ways, and starts t to seem redundant. When I realized that most of the exercises were designed to achieve the same goal, I felt a little cheated. However, after thinking about it more, I suppose repetition is necessary when learning something new. Especially when that something is a new way to think.

On the whole, I enjoy the book. Though I think that it would have been better with half the pages and half the price.
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