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The Book of Times

Informative read from Lesley Alderman

February 12, 2013
By REGINA M. ANGELI - Books Writer , The Daily News

The concept of time has long captivated man.

We are familiar with the quotes from Ecclesiastes that "To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven" and Shakespeare's memorable line that "I wasted time, and now doth time waste me."

In our contemporary age, time appears to have control over us as our endless daily responsibilities claim so much of it.

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Yet, in her book, "The Book of Times: From Seconds to Centuries, a Compendium of Measures" (William Morrow, 354 pages), former New York Times financial advice columnist Lesley Alderman insists that there are people who have a great deal of leisure.

She cites that Italy and Spain tie as the nations with the most "time to do nothing" (on average one hour and seventeen minutes per day) though she protests that this calculation was a bit tricky as the French indulge in plenty of rest and relaxation though usually in the form of taking very leisurely meals.

But who in the world would have the leisure time to take in the longest film ever, "Film Stock," made in 1968 which ran a whopping 908 hours!

Continuing in this whimsical manner, her statistic that the average dog only needs about two hours more sleep per day than his owner will surprise many a dog lover who has come home to find the family pooch stretched out across the bed.

But on a much more practical note, she gives a strategy to help clean the house in under 30 minutes per day. (Something tells me this approach only works in the households where man gives the average 9.5 hours per week doing chores.)

Some of her statistics are potentially lifesaving, as she quotes from the "2011 Annals of Internal Medicine" report that showed that the month of July has the highest death rates in teaching hospitals.

In keeping with her roots as a financial columnist, she includes a simple formula for calculating the value of an individual's time. Stay-at-home moms are positively a bargain at the $112,962 figure she cites!

Lesley Alderman's "The Book of Times" is informative and entertaining and

a marvelous way to while away the time on a business commute or a lazy afternoon.



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