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How to Be Alone
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How to Be Alone

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  307 ratings  ·  59 reviews
A charming and deeply poignant illustrated poem based on the popular viral Internet video that has captured the hearts of millions worldwide

If you are, at first, lonely be patient. If you've not been alone much or if, when you were, you weren't okay with it then just wait...

Since its debut on YouTube, Tanya Davis's beautiful and perceptive poem, How to Be Alone, visually r
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by Harper (first published October 20th 2013)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  307 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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Kailyn Kausen
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is a cute little poem book. I expected it to have many poems, but it was only one poem spaced out through all the pages like a children's book. The illustrations had a child-esc feel about them too. Cute, good message (being alone is okay), but other than that it doesn't really do anything for me. The poem is decent, the art is pretty good, the text is a little hard to read at times (cursive and handwritten with a paintbrush)... 'Cute' pretty much sums it up.
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is so light to hold but it carries an important message. HOW TO BE ALONE calmly asserts that the act of being alone is not a sign of weakness, but of quiet strength.

Being an introvert all my life, I was always told that I should be more social, go out more, etc. I internalized these messages for years until I reached my early 20s and realized that a) introversion is a thing b) there was nothing wrong with me for liking to be alone and c) being an introvert doesn't require a cure.

Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is what I think of this book:

So I ordered it online knowing that it is a poem like any other. Today, the book arrived and I was very excited until I opened the book. I appreciate other peoples' reviews, thoughts, and opinions on this book but it was an illustrated book for teenagers. Kinda bursted my bubble here!

Well folks, on the bright side I learned one thing and it is to never judge a book by its cover.
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: normalcy
Oh my gosh. I don't even know where to start. How to Be Alone gave me all sorts of tingles inside. First off, I'm saddened to only now hear about this poem after seeing so many rave about it and its creator. Tanya Davis and Andrea Dorfman are both truly talented. These two ladies have respectively invoked so much emotion through words and illustrations. I felt so unbelievably moved by imagery that might be deemed as simple art yet it was so interesting in its own way. The illustrations definitel ...more
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog-review, arc
I’m finding it difficult to review this wonderful little gem of a book, but here goes. Based on the YouTube video, Tanya Davis and Andrea Dorfman’s HOW TO BE ALONE is a perfect companion to the video as well as an inspiring guidebook for anyone.

If you’ve seen the video you know it’s profound and makes you comfortable with being by yourself. In the book, they’ve extended parts of Davis’ HOW TO BE ALONE to be more solitary. In a way, the single images illustrated by Dorfman lets you take a moment
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a great, inspiring book. I just flew through the book in a matter of moments. Not just because it is wonderful but also because once you crack open the pages you can not help but just read the book from page to page. Besides the way this book is written like a poem it just flows to the next page.

All of the illustrations were colorful and helped to protray what Tanya was saying in that moment for each page. My favorite had to be the socks. All of the different socks. Tanya shows it is ok to
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite poems.
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book on the beauty of being alone.
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Five minutes of feel good time and advice the world needs!
Leah Arthur
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is one long, vibrantly illustrated poem about...being alone. I personally believe that being alone is good for people (or at any rate, it has been good for me lol) which can offer periods of growth and reflection. Andddd this poem follows that idea as well.

It offered some fun although potentially scary ideas-such as eating or traveling alone, along with some “easier” ideas like working out or meditation. The poem addressed the feelings of “oh man, this can be scary” as well as how good
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, best-books-ever
Took me maybe 10 minutes to get through this book, but it includes many beautiful illustrations and helps the reader feel better about their loneliness.

Loneliness is something we all will encounter in our lives and sometimes we just make it worse by blaming ourselves for it. Are there things that we do that make us a loner? Sometimes. But the important thing is learning how to cope with loneliness and accepting it as you would a family member or friend.

I highly recommend it because it has chang
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A well-illustrated and thoughtful meditation on the value of being alone. Davis remarks on how important it is to spend time getting to know yourself, how enjoyable it can be to eat a fancy dinner by yourself or to see a movie by yourself. Our culture values constant companionship so highly, but sometimes it is better to spend time with yourself before seeking out other people. I would love to see a longer collection of her poetry, perhaps with fewer illustrations; it distracted from the poem a ...more
Natalia Michelle
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
picked this up at the library last week because it caught my eye, only to discover as i read it that the words sounded like a song i already knew. near the middle of it, i realized it was a poem i’d found online on youtube when i was 15 years old. i had downloaded that video back then, even listened to it through my earphones on the bus rides home. i’ve been thinking about that poem lately, but couldn’t recall the author or the name. it’s uncanny how we sometimes find what we’ve been looking for ...more
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love this book. It has a fantastic message, the artwork is lovely, and it is cute and sweet. As a society, we need to learn to be more comfortable with being alone. We view independence as a strength but when we see those who don't constantly demand the company of others we see them as weaker, less friendly, or unpopular. It's a beautiful experience to learn to enjoy your own company.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is simply beautiful - it’s an ongoing poem about the essence and beauty of being alone, being comfortable in your own skin and with your own company. It gives some lovely ideas in his to progress in your journey to alone and I recommend if you’re not happy with being by yourself that you follow the lead of this book - it could help to love oneself.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: female-author
I thought I wouldn't like this as much as the the original video. I was wrong - I like it differently, but just as much. The time it takes to turn each page and read the words makes the same words into an experience to savor, instead of the quick rush of the video. ...more
Sara Smith
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very quick read spread out a book filled with beautiful illustrations. I like that the words are spaced out because that way I could savor their significance longer before turning the page.
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was such a fun short poem. I’ve been divorced a little over a year now and it still feels strange sometimes being alone. This book helped remind me that it’s okay and can even be fun. It’s all what you make of it. “Start simple.”
May 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
One star for the nice art

Terrible font, I couldn't discern many words
Stupid, corny and useless advice tbh

I only like the part where sitting on a bench with a stranger gives you a moment of shared existence.

Other than that, I really disliked it.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m not a huge poetry or prose fan, so it was a pleasant surprise to find myself quite in love with this inspiring and joyful piece of writing.
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The complementing illustrations made the book more relevant and relatable, tugging my heart strings to feel that it is okay to be alone.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My favorite YouTube video/poem, found in a used bookstore on a solo trip in Halifax. It's like the book was waiting for me.
Fredrick Danysh
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
The author uses a long poems to discuss the joys of solitude and how to obtain that solitude. There are just one or two lines per page with colorful illustrations throughout the book.
Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Sweet illustrated poem. Originally a video poem (watch on YouTube), this would make a lovely gift.
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
a beautiful book to read
Athirah Salleh
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
4.4/5 ⭐️

Illustration is so beautiful. I'm in love. But I'm having hard time to read the font. I love the words so much.
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really wish I'd read this in college, when I was struggling with being happy with myself and by myself.
"Society is afraid of alone though-
like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements,
like people must have problems if after a while no one's dating them.
But alone is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless,
and lonely is healing if you make it."
Nov 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
While I don't usually read poetry, I was intrigued by the thought of an illustrated poem. I hadn't heard of it, but this was apparently a YouTube sensation with over 6 million views. Wow! Guess I'm out of the YouTube loop.

As an introvert, I enjoy being alone and was curious to see what the poet and illustrator had to say about my favorite state of being. Some of the suggestions, like the library and movie theater, are tried and true favorites. Others, like a coffee shop or lunch counter, I still
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Canadian singer/songwriter and poet Tanya Davis writes: “Society is afraid of alone though- like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if after a while no one’s dating them” in this advice poem. That’s an unfortunate truth. I’ve never had problems or issues in doing anything alone. Societal expectations compel people to believe they MUST always do things in groups. Sometimes solitude can be just the thing. I just went out to a show Saturday—Grace & Tony and ...more
I was not familiar with Tanya Davis's poem "How To Be Alone" before receiving this beautiful, heartwarming book through Goodreads First Reads. But now, I have every intention of looking into the author's other works and finding out more about this beautiful poem! Accompanied by Andrea Dorfman's beautiful illustrations, "How To Be Alone" really is an uplifting experience. It would make a lovely gift, particularly for a graduate or for a young lady moving to a new city by herself. It is definitely ...more
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