Atomic Habits

Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results

Title: Atomic Habits
Subtitle: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results
Author: James Clear
Published: 2018
ISBN: 9781847941831 (paperback)
Amazon Rating: 4.7 out of 5, has 33,266 ratings when I checked
Purchased from Amazon.de (Germany) on 9 February 2021 for €21.89 including VAT and shipping (horrible at €8.72)

What the book is about:
Claims to set out an easy system for achieving good habits and avoiding or kicking bad ones. Placed considerable focus on our sense of self-identity and self-awareness as keys to understanding and managing issues with habits.

Couldn’t get into this book. In my opinion contained a lot of banal psycho-babble amongst a few interesting or useful points.

He did draw an interesting and useful distinction between ‘being in motion’, and ‘taking action’, as it relates to moving towards our objectives. He points out that the latter is the substantive choice in terms of actualising said objectives. He said, “when you’re in motion, you’re planning, strategising, and learning. Those are all good things, but they don’t produce a result. Action, on the other hand, is the type of behaviour that will deliver an outcome”. Good point. But I wouldn’t be amazed at insight like “don’t put yourself in temptation’s way!” either.

Clearly for people who have significant problems with habits such as over-eating, weight loss, smoking, smartphone-scrolling and social media addiction, and the like. The content really becomes convoluted mumbo-jumbo and trivial towards the end of the book, and I admit I skipped large chunks, many pages, in an effort to get it over and done. Clear mismatch between what I’m looking for in terms of reading material and who this book seems to be aimed at. But fair dues, he has obviously found a legitimate gold mine in terms of putting a book out there that this particular target market can’t seem to do without – nothing wrong with that if it’s what they want.

Why Selected:
Really, I wanted to lay off the technical stuff for a while and I like to have something a little more relaxing to read for a bit of escapism during the late evenings when it’s not a good idea to be glued to either a computer or TV, or smartphone. And it’s a bonus if a good idea or two pops up along the way.

Overall opinion:
Starting to find books like this dull and what I’d imagine to be a bit like trying to eat sawdust – low on substance, high on fluff, and why would one be trying to eat it anyway. Interesting point is this type of book obviously sells by the container-ship-load. Is it the fantastic content, or is it a craving or some kind of cry for help from an obviously large target market? I think the evidence would suggest the latter. A few interesting ideas but frankly I was looking forward to getting on to my next book. Seems I don’t match the intended target market profile. And that’s ok.

Content and Style:
Writing style and articulation is very good! Uses clear, plain English.

Recommended?
I’d have to better-understand the mindset of people challenged by habit issues to make that call in relation to those who go for this type of book. But for someone just looking for an interesting and absorbing read, no, couldn’t recommend it. Maybe if it was free… and I can only rate it in terms of my own reading material preferences. For that, I’m afraid it’s a star for content and a star for articulation and presentation, totalling 2 stars! Others will love it!