The Architecture of Happiness

It’s a nice book title isn’t it? The Architecture of Happiness  is a book written by Alain de Botton. I decided to get a little creative with the blog prompt, and randomly picked a stack in the library to choose a book from. I made a few circles around different parts of the library, and eventually ended up on Lower Level 1 amongst the books on art.

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but the aesthetics of this particular book is what originally drew me to it. It’s a small book, so it looked miniature next to its neighbors. The cover is simple and serene – depicting a cottage like house nestled in the trees with smoke coming out of its chimney and a sketch of a very modern looking home. I then turned the book over to find some reviews. The first thing I saw read: “Virtually every page contains a sentence an essayist would have been proud to have written.” I was immediately sold. Since I consider myself a writer, I am often more interested in the language and the style of writing than I am in plot or contents.

Call me old fashion, but I actually love reading physical books.

My mom tried to give me a kindle that she had gotten for free somewhere, but I turned it down. There’s something about the experience of touching a book and turning its pages that is so much more personalized than reading words off a screen and clicking a button to turn the page.

“Belief in the significance of architecture is premised on the notion that we are, for better or for worse, different people in different places – and on the conviction that it is architecture’s task to render vivid to us who we might ideally be” (pg. 13). I found these words in the opening chapter of the book, and after flipping through it a bit, I think this is the core of de Botton’s thesis.

This book is essentially architecture meets philosophy. It’s a thought provoking idea that we are different people in different places. I agree with de Botton on this, and got to thinking about my own life and the places I have found myself in.

I didn’t know too many of you that well before senior year, but those who did know me can attest to the fact that I came back from studying abroad a new person. It may sound clich

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