The Boring Book

The Boring Book
Shinsuke Yoshitake
Chronicle Books

“I’m bored.” How many times do we hear children utter those words? They’re the first words said by the child protagonist in Yoshitake’s philosophical picture book.

His mum can do nothing to alleviate his state so the boy decides to explore the whole notion of boredom. What does it mean? What causes it? Inertia perhaps?

The lad continues his consideration of ennui by looking at different situations such as detachment and disappointment

as well as whether inanimate objects can be bored.
He visits possible locations that induce boredom in the extreme – an amusement park that fails to amuse for example.

But then comes a revelation – ‘it’s actually fun to think about “boring” things. This is followed by a deliberation on the strange state between boredom and having fun when things are done seemingly without any thought at all – things like teeth brushing or riding in the bus.

And who invented the word anyway?

It’s probably not a good idea to question grandparents about being bored; they’re likely to ramble on for ages about their experiences and anyhow, looks can be deceptive when it comes to boredom.

What about Dads though? This particular one seems more insightful about the topic and even sparks off some creative thinking …

but then he goes and spoils things again …

One thing is certain though, exploring and discussing boredom is anything but boring. Boredom is an option but one that can often lead to creativity where children are concerned – if they’re left to their own devices.