We can all stop feeling like our inability to focus is a character flaw. While writing Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention—and How to Think Deeply Again, author Johann Hari traveled the world, interviewed multiple scientists, doctors, sociologists and Silicon Valley developers and researched to make a compelling case: There are powerful external forces at play. In Stolen Focus, Hari outlines what he believes are the top 12.
Social media and its insidious algorithms. Deteriorating diets. Increased stress. Children not going outside to play. They’re all causes for our collective lack of focus, Hari argues. And let’s not forget cause number four—the collapse of sustained reading. (My fellow booksellers and I are happy to help with this one, come down to Valley Bookseller, and let’s talk).
There are chapters interspersed with ideas for fighting back. The ideas are bold—we need to get our focus back in order to solve the world’s big problems.
Rachael Johnson is the assistant manager at Valley Bookseller. You can order or purchase Stolen Focus at valleybookseller.com, in-store at Valley Bookseller or your favorite independent bookstore.