Book review: Small Pleasures by The School of Life


I first came across Small Pleasures in the little paper boutique, Papersmiths, in Clifton Village, Bristol, UK. But, when I returned there, all copies were sold out so, thanks to modern technology, I ordered my copy online. I guess that means that the book seems to be interesting not only for me! I found the book incredibly relaxing to read and a great journey to discovering or re-discovering the pleasures of everyday life. Just look at the chapter titles: Stars, Sunbathing, Up at Dawn, A Hot Bath, Kissing, Sunday Mornings, A Favourite Old Jumper, A Book that Understands You, Pleasant Exhaustion after a Productive Day, Whispering in Bed in the Dark, Figs, etc. There are 52 chapters (one for each week of the year?), so you can easily find great joy in exploring all the tiny pleasures we all experience in our life. I don’t want to say too much to spoil the pleasure of reading the book, but I have some quotations which may inspire you to read it or to get it as a Christmas present for a friend.

“[Some small pleasures can create the] respect for civilisations that have more time for things that are simultaneously delightful and wholesome.” p. 13

“Time could be rearranged: there are plenty of things that can contribute to leading a life more like the one we want. We could get new chances. Every day, it happens.” p. 59

“(…) [T]he pleasure of bath is primarily intellectual. Baths are ideal places to think.” p. 66.

Kinga Macalla

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