A few weeks back I received an email asking if I’d like to receive an advanced copy of Keri Smith’s newest book, The Wander Society. I was interested just based on the fact it was by Keri Smith. She’s the author of many awesome books including wildly popular Wreck This Journal which I most definitely had and LOVED when it first came out.
The story is that Keri Smith was browsing her local bookstore when she stumbled upon strange notes in a worn copy of Leaves of Grass by Walk Whitman: “WW will show you the way,” “Solivitur ambulando,” and then “The Wander Society” accompanied by a small thunderbolt symbol. Intrigued, she followed the clues and discovered pamphlets, more hidden messages, and a like-minded professor to help her in her search. Keri then complied her findings into this book, aptly titled The Wander Society. The book is a manifesto of a secretive group that extols the notion that in order to find your way and live deliberately, soulfully, you must wander.
Intrigued yet? Yeah, it’s just as awesome as it sounds! As someone who has been becoming more and more disenchanted with technology and how social media seems to rule everything around us, this book couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.
The book includes prompts and calls-to-action, as well as how-tos and practical tips and strategies for wandering fieldwork. I found it to be incredibly inspiring. It was honestly hard to sit down to try and read it because I would read a couple pages and immediately feel like “maybe I should be outside instead…?” When I did sit down to read, I found myself bookmarking lots of passages. There were so many I wanted to share in this post. The one I chose was a photo Keri had taken. Her notes under it say “found this written on a wall”
“The beauty of happenstance. Of looking for one thing and finding something else. Of stumbling onto something when you were least expecting it. The book on the shelf next to the one you wanted. Overhearing an interesting conversation. Finding a special sitting spot. In just the right place. Seeing an amazing sunset. Stumbling onto the perfect passage in a book. Discovering a place you want to go for tea. Taking a detour and seeing a different view. A combination of ‘happen’ and ‘circumstance’. To find or come across by chance. Can only happen if we provide the opportunity for them to appear.”
I’m excited to exercise my wandering legs. The Wander Society really, really struck a chord with me. It reinforced some thoughts I had already been having and was exactly the encouragement I needed to get out and do more of what I really love. One chapter, titled “leave behinds”, talks about how it’s nice to plant things for other to find in hopes that will encourage them to wander too. It gives some ideas of things to leave behind. One of the suggestions was stone piles and arrangements which immediately made me think of all my beach adventures – like my driftwood fort!
The publishing company was sweet enough to offer one lucky wanderer their own copy of Keri Smith’s newest book The Wander Society. US entries only, please.
I LOVED this book. Like I said before, it just came at a time when it was exactly what I needed to read. I’m really excited for y’all to check out this book too!