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1,001 Things to Do When There’s Nothing to Do

Books like these usually just make my day. I don’t know why I’m so attracted to lists, but whether it’s making them, checking them off, or reading them, lists are like my chocolate. So when I found this book in one of the massive boxes of books we bought our daughter at a yard sale, I was pretty stoked.

Now, the book’s intended audience is children, so don’t expect tips on a wilder sex life or suggestions for skydiving. However, it’s still got some pretty fun suggestions—and the best part is, they’re all legal (as far as I know), mostly safe for the work place, and you can even do them with family and friends. Another great thing about the book is that it’s organized in sections according to when you can do certain activities. For example, there are chapters on things to do at the lunch table, when your friends aren’t around or if you’re lonely, when it’s fall or when it’s snowing, and at least a dozen more categories.

There are definitely some fun ideas in this book. Going for a moonlit walk, having an indoor beach party, and starting a number of service businesses for neighbors—from entertaining kids to planting spring bulbs—are all fun enjoyable activities, though I’m sure my neighbors would simply raise their eyebrows at me if I offered to weed their lawns, considering how much I love the clover in my own yard and refuse to use the same weed killing service they all subscribe to.

There are even fun things to do with TV commercials, which I love; there’s nothing better than making fun of commercials (except maybe fast-forwarding them on your DVR). Some ideas in the book are to count the number of times the word “new” is used, to make anagrams or other puzzles out of product names, and my favorite: turn down the sound and make up your own words, Whose Line Is It Anyway?-style. That happens to be one of my husband and my favorite activities, and we do it with anything from TV shows (especially if we’re waiting for something else to come on) to our SingStar game.

I would highly recommend this seemingly-cheesy book to anyone who wants to add a bit of quirk to his or her life. 1,001 Things to Do When There’s Nothing to Do is written by Louise Colligan and Linda Aber. It was published by Scholastic in 1994 and is 145 pages long.