James Danckert and John Eastwood argue that we can learn to handle boredom more effectively by recognizing what research shows: boredom indicates unmet psychological needs. Boredom, therefore, can motivate us to change what isn't working in our lives.
This is one of those occasions, not so rare as generally imagined, when the philosophers did, after all, get it right the first time, before the scientists came along to see what was what. That conclusion is richly endorsed by this highly interesting and suggestive book on the analysis of boredom from a strictly psychological perspective.
... the latest work on this strangely alluring topic has an exciting title, but nothing about the book is wild or crazy ... James Danckert and John D. Eastwood know an awful lot about the subject, and they examine it methodically ... It gives me no pleasure—I swear it!—to report that this new book on boredom is a bit dull. Reasonable, informative, concise—yes. But there is something pedestrian about the whole exercise. Those who can’t quite muster the authors’ enthusiasm for the topic will wish the professors had a grander sense of the absurd and a wickeder wit. On the other hand, surely it’s childish to expect to be entertained at all times. The authors aren’t vaudevillians, and they rightly imply that each of us must own our boredom. If I am left a bit bored by their earnestness, I am probably just as much at fault as they are.
While there is much of value in their presentation and the analyses of the work of other researchers, complete with a bevy of potentially useful insights, lay readers will have to hack through thickets of repetition to find it. With minor variations, Danckert and Eastwood tend to establish the same definitions and make the same points over and over. This is all clearly fascinating to the authors, who demonstrate their enthusiasm, and doubtless to colleagues involved in the subject, but one can’t escape the feeling that this entire book could have been distilled quite effectively into 50 pages ... Sound research and informed speculation best suited to an academic audience.