For many of us, the last time we learned a new skill was during childhood. We live in an age which reveres expertise but looks down on the beginner. Upon entering adulthood and middle age, we begin to shy away from trying new things, instead preferring to stay nestled firmly in our comfort zones.
Beginners asks the question: why are children the only ones allowed to experience the inherent fun of facing daily challenges? And could we benefit from embracing new skills, even if we’re initially hopeless?
Author Tom Vanderbilt sets out to find the answer, tasking himself with acquiring several new skills under the tutelage of professionals, including drawing, juggling, surfing and much more. Witty and often surprisingly profound, Beginners is an uplifting exploration of the science of brain plasticity and how we can learn how to learn anew.