Keri Smith’s new book The Wander Society introduces the reader to the art of wandering. “By purchasing this book you are electing to join a secret underground movement.”
To walk/explore/amble in an unplanned or aimless way with a complete openness to the unknown.
Keri Smith is an established author and illustrator, well-known for her internationally acclaimed publications that aim to spark the creativity of their readers. Among those the best-selling Wreck this Journal, This Is Not a Book and How to be an Explorer of the World. Smith’s latest book The Wander Society can be considered as a manifesto for the exploration of the world around you — to take more time to wander without a goal, to get lost.
In modern urban life, ‘getting lost’ is under threat. GPS-based navigation apps and devices calculate the shortest or most time-efficient route from point A to point B, and by taking control over our vehicles, the emerging autonomous mobility sector will make wandering an even more unnatural activity than it is today. It’s no surprise that psychogeography has made such a comeback. Ask yourself the question: When was the last time you went for a walk with no destination? The Wander Society wants to make a plea for the right to get lost. Buyers of the book will become a member of Smith’s secret society of wanderers. The author asks you to conduct research on your immediate environment and complete a variety of assignments designed to creatively disrupt your everyday life.
The premise of the book is that Smith found a dusty old copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass in a bookshop that was filled with cryptic handwritten notes, clues and mysteries of the Wander Society. It immediately got Smit’s attention and she started conducting research on this secret movement. Other well-known wanderers included in the book are Søren Kierkegaard, Jack Kerouac or Oscar Wilde.
The Wander Society calls upon the reader to conduct his or her own research as well. The rest of the book describes the society, provides quotes of inspiration, and how-to guidance to do-it-yourself items to assist readers on their quest. It also includes a page of stickers that wanderers can spread around while exploring and thereby perhaps intriguing and inspiring new members.
The Wander Society is an eye-opening must-have for everyone who wants to explore his or her direct surroundings in a new way. Because if you want to see more of the world, there’s no need to travel farther — you only have to look closer.
The Wander Society
By Keri Smith
Published by Penguin Books
Publishing date: Mar 29, 2016
Hardcover, 208 pages