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The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  697 ratings  ·  106 reviews
For many of us, thinking about the future conjures up images of Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" a post-apocalyptic dystopia stripped of nature. Richard Louv, author of the landmark bestseller "Last Child in the Woods," urges us to change our vision of the future, suggesting that if we reconceive environmentalism and sustainability, they will evolve into a larger movement that ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,420)
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Connie Mayo
I was completely prepared to love this book. But I didn't find what I was looking for. I wanted and expected to find out a little about the science behind the idea that spending time in nature has brain benefits. I also wanted to know what exactly it is that scientists think is having the positive impact. Is it visual? Auditory? Is it the smell of outdoors? What if you are in a suburban environment, where there is a combination of nature and manmade structures - is it half as effective? Do peopl ...more
Like many, I came to this book having read and loved Last Child in the Woods. This book was good, too, going farther than Last Child by pointing out how a connection with the nature around us makes all of us--child AND adult--happier, healthier, more peaceful, more productive. While Louv makes a lot out of a few studies at times, and waxes kind of mystical and hippy-happy at times, still the book is a good read. I especially enjoyed the many profiles of and interviews with people who are helping ...more
Rod Ruff
There are two kinds of journalists: reporters and storytellers. Richard Louv falls into the first category.

This book is a pragmatic exploration of how we can interact better with nature in the 21st century - something many of us are craving to find time for. There is no shortage of information here, Louv starts with an examination of all the positive health (physical and mental) benefits that may arise from increasing our exposure to nature, and then moves into all the practical ways we can int
Uplifting persuasive piece about the desirability of putting yourself in contact with nature. He goes beyond the sentimental testimonial anecdote (though there are quite a few "just the other day, I was taking a walk in the woods when I saw the most wonderful heron; can't get that on Facebook!" passages) to describe families banding together through nature outings, therapists prescribing outdoor time, workers being happier and more productive when they have windows in their offices overlooking w ...more
I am going out and reading this book as soon as it hits the shelves. I read about it this morning in an article about nature as therapy. "Ecotherapy" is gaining legitimacy as a form of treatment, which I find really interesting (given that our culture seems to think pharmaceuticals are the answer to every problem). And, a closet-hippie, I like the idea that nature is all we need to stay and be healthy. :D
Kim Johnson (Mcmechan)
The urgency I felt reading this book almost took my breath away. It was pivotal in my decision to move to a small island with my two daughters. It's not an understatement to say this book is life changing. Richard Louv balances science nicely with narrative for an enjoyable read.
A good read, but it did not blow my mind like Last Child in the Woods. That said, Louv's research is unparalleled, and he has again given me heavy stuff to chew on both personally and in the way I raise my children.

Great quote that sums up my view on the book:

"Sooner or later, a school of higher education--perhaps a school that teaches teachers--is going to realize the potential and create an entire program devoted to connecting people to nature. Enter this program, learn about the benefits of h
Note: I received this book as a Goodread's giveaway.

In my day to day life, I experience nature. I am fortunate to live in a small western town surrounded by mountains and high desert. The Nature Principle reinterated the quality of life I have. He talks about how the more you have technology in your life the more you need nature. He talks about the health benefits of nature, nature that is as near as our yards, creating nature to enjoy, and about the future of our collective nature. I found it t
Nicole Hale
I just won this book in in first reads giveaway and I am excited to read it for sure. As an art therapist, I am always interesting in finding alternative approaches to finding therapeutic and creative ways to soothe the soul. People in society today spend entirely too much time wasting away in cubicle style jobs, forgetting how to find solace in the beauty of nature around us. The ideas that seem to be presented in this book are excellent, and as soon as I read it, I will be sure to post a thoro ...more
Jeremy L
Richard Louv brings compelling anecdotes and evidence to back up his proposal that mankind is beginning to rely too much on technology in our daily lives. This increased reliance is proving detrimental to our collective productivity, creativity, and focus.

Nature deficiency disorder is becoming pandemic throughout the world, and is one problem we should all strive to overcome through increased immersion into nature, and the rediscovery of our natural selves.
William Crosby
This book can be summarized by this sentence: "The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need."

The rest of the book is an examination of why and how and corollaries. A discussion of theoretical, anecdotal and empirical research about the restorative power of nature for humans (physical, psychological, spiritual).

There are lots of fun and innovative ideas both at the individual and the cultural level. And he makes sure to emphasize that business and nature interests need not be inimical,
I want to start by saying that I do agree with some of the things that Louv says. Sometimes a low review might be a total rejection of the content, but this is not one of those times. I believe that time spent in nature is powerful and refreshing and something that can really help us.
Louv's writing was adequate, but the book felt difficult to get through. My number one complaint was that his science was soft. Maybe not enough hard science on the topic exists. Most of his evidence is anecdotal.
I just won this book through First Reads - can't wait to receive it!

Let me start out by stating that I haven't read Louv's first book, but when I saw this one listed through the Good Reads Giveaway, I jumped at the chance to win a copy. We just moved, along with our three young sons, from a tract home in a planned subdivision to a 10 acre mini-farm - complete with goats and chickens. We are in the process of building a home off the grid and this just seemed like something that would be a great c
Overall, I think I would give this book 4.5 stars. I’m really thankful for the publisher and Goodreads for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

First, the good parts. I agreed with everything that the author was talking about, about how nature makes us happy and gives us greater satisfaction with life, as well as making us more productive, (I'm oversimplifying). I also liked the suggestions he made about how to bring more nature back to inner cities and places lower on the socioeconomic l
Molly Mccarty
The book Last Child in the Woods, which is the predecessor and companion to this book, is a tough act to follow. None the less, Louv expands and applies his concepts of Nature Deficit Disorder, bringing the adult into focus as lacking in Vitamin N. N as in Nature.
I really want to endorse this one heartily and I find I can not. In the 3rd Chapter, he mentions his father's death by suicide, and implies that it was done as a result of lack of Nature in the guy's life. From here, I am set up for a
The Nature Principle states that "... a reconnection to the natural world is fundamental to human health, well-being, spirit, and survival." Richard Louv is able to show how true this principle really is. Through a combination of psychology research and anecdotal evidence, this book shows how even a limited connection to nature helps us to re-ignite our bodies, our health, our imaginations, and our communities.

People are paying a high price for losing contact with nature. And, by the term "natur
Very interesting and informative book. I get the feeling, though, that he really just wanted to write Last Child in the Woods again (and let's be fair, who wouldn't?), and that after deviating from an adult focus back to children, he'd sort of catch himself and say, "oh yeah! But this book is about adults and nature."

It was a lot of repetitive information, which really is good for me because it's how I commit things to memory, but I imagine for others it could get a bit dry.

SPOILER:The story abo
Very enjoyable read. I liked how the author points out that we need nature for our mental, emotional and physical health and that we do not need to go to a certain place to enjoy it. We can create it, in our own home, yard, neighborhood. We can get out and enjoy the joys of nature wherever we live, even if it is the city. I enjoy the outdoors and it has always been a place of joy for me.
Mr. Pollock
A good read, but it did not blow my mind like Last Child in the Woods. That said, Louv's research is unparalleled, and he has again given me heavy stuff to chew on both personally and in the way I raise my children.

Great quote that sums up my view on the book:

"Sooner or later, a school of higher education--perhaps a school that teaches teachers--is going to realize the potential and create an entire program devoted to connecting people to nature. Enter this program, learn about the benefits of h
Louv's premise that in the Blackberry, iPhone, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube era we are coming distant from nature, including the nature in our immediate environment, is no doubt true. He gives countless examples that illustrate this disconnect, and then follows that up with more examples of how people are combating and overcoming Nature Deficit Disorder. The only reason I don't rate this book higher is that the author is dogmatic in making his points; at times I found myself thinking "I get it, I ...more
Laura Gilfillan
I didn't actually finish this book. I liked the beginning, and can whole-heartedly agree with his concept of being nature deficient, at least for me, especially in the middle of winter. I really feel I could seriously use a bit of nature experience about now, and I mean more than taking the dog for a walk around the block. But then he started going into details about these very idealistic social programs that would help bring people back to nature. I'm too skeptical, and too practical to be able ...more
The Nature Principle by Richard Louv is a wonderful followup to his popular book The Last Child in the Woods. I enjoyed listening to Rick Adamson read the unabridged 10.24 hour audio version. The short, focused chapters were perfect for an audio book format. [return][return]Louv focuses on seven basic concepts that tap into the restorative power of nature. Combining ideas and information from both well-known naturalists through history as well as current research, Louv provides compelling argume ...more
Jen Russell
I agree with the points he made, and I especially liked how he addressed specific reasons that are preventing our kids from being outside more: the boogieman theory (we don't feel safe letting them play unsupervised because someone might take them), liability (most people don't want kids climbing trees on their land, etc. because of potential law suits), and just less green space. Even if kids are outside, their play is much less structured that it use to be. It gave me a strong desire to create ...more
Andy Janes
It started off very slowly and disconnectedly, making me think he should have just stopped after Last Child in the Woods. After a few chapters though, he seems to find his voice and story and it gets much better. Really helped renew my enthusiasm for my work with Environmental Education and Conservation.
Until the end of the book, when Louv spends far too many pages re-stating what he'd already illustrated in the book (have I mentioned before that I hate summaries in most books?), this book is an engaging read and provides so many new avenues for me to consider for jobs, places to live, things to think about when I'm cooped inside--or outside on a hike. Louv uses a combination of personal anecdotes and research, which makes the book more approachable, and encourages the idea that adults could an ...more
This is one of those book wich you will be nodding your head at in agreement. Growing up I have spent less and less time outdoors. This book has made me understand that I need to make a effort to create time with nature not only for my physical but my metal well being. This book has the right balance of statistics and personal stories with the book broken up into different parts, making it a easy to pick-up and follow read. I would of liked however the last chapter to be on tips in ways to spend ...more
Phenomenal study- interesting and well written. Very clinical as people have noted, but I enjoyed that.
Boring, disconnected, predictable, unrealistically optimistic- didn't add much to my understanding of nature.
I don't think it would be fair of me to rate this book, as I didn't finish it. I really enjoyed reading the first half - it was uplifting, informative, and spoke to me as a nature lover. However, it started becoming repetitive and my eyes started to float over the words instead of taking them in. I'm sure it's a good book, but the information inside tended to ramble and just essentially repeat the same message over and over. Not sure if someone who isn't a big nature person would enjoy this book ...more
Louv develops his arguments from "Last Children in the Woods" (and if you read one of his books, that's the one), asserting that Nature Deficit Disorder afflicts everyone and lies at the root of many social and environmental problems. He pushes for social networking as a means to remedy this situation from the family and neighborhood level. Thr issue is profoundly important and yet I found the book kind of redundant after awhile and, like many non-fiction books, could have been done more effecti ...more
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Richard Louv (born 1949) is a journalist and author of books about the connections between family, nature and community. His book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder (Algonquin), translated into 9 languages and published in 13 countries, has stimulated an international conversation about the relationship between children and nature.
More about Richard Louv...
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder Web of Life: Weaving the Values That Sustain Us Fly-Fishing for Sharks: An American Journey Childhood's Future America II

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“Most scientists who study human perception no longer assume that we have five senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing. The current number ranges from a conservative ten senses to as many as thirty, including blood-sugar levels, empty stomach, thirst, joint position, and more. The list is growing.” 1 likes
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