The Lost Art of Walking, Geoff Nicholson


This idiosyncratic look at walking---and the philosophy, the art, the history, the literature of it---is a refreshing read, a brisk stroll through the subject that doesn't sacrifice its structure in taking the reader down less-trodden paths. Nicholson resists the sentimentalism I've come to acquaint with much chatter about the putting of one foot in front of the other (see: the rhetoric of charity walks, epic cross-continent journeys); rather, he holds, "Walking is special but it's not strange. It's not a stunt. it's worth doing for its own sake."

He also discusses, to some degree, how intertwined the acts of writing and walking are, both rather simple acts at their core: "[W]ords inscribe a text in the same way that a walk inscribes space. ... writing is one way of making the world our own, and ... walking is another." Indeed.