I wanted to enjoy this book. I mean, I really did – the premise is really good:
Why time seems to pass at different speeds and how to control it
That’s the tag line on the cover. And it does sound interesting – a quick stroll through the psychological processes that make time seem to shrink or expand. And the first part is exactly that: it postulates a series of laws that govern how human mind perceives time, and then goes into detail with evidence to back up these assertions. Along the way, there’s fascinating detail that explains why children experience time as longer, and how adults feel that the years are passing quickly.
And all of this psychological insight is fascinating, but around chapter six, the “how to control it” part kicks in.
Now, I have nothing against mindfulness, or meditation. Nor do I believe that the proposition that these are the ways in which time can be “lengthened” is necessarily incorrect. However what I do object to is the prescriptive nature of the ending of the book. In fact, the very final part of the book is a summary (essentially, a checklist) of a daily meditation / mindfulness regime to make your life last longer.
To be honest, the first part interested me – the psychological reasoning behind the way that time “shrinks” as we age makes sense. But the incessant shrillness of the final part of the book put me off; it’s this section where I felt that the author almost wanted to reach out through the pages of the book and shake me until I agreed to follow his regimen exactly, and that detracted from the overall tone for me.
It starts as sound psychological science. Read it for that.
Author site: https://www.stevenmtaylor.com/books/making-time/
And here’s what The Guardian thought, too: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/jul/26/scienceandnature