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This is Not a Book

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,420 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Read Keri Smith's posts on the Penguin Blog

A curious, engaging, and creative rethinking of what a book can be, from the creator of Wreck this Journal.

In this uniquely skewed look at the purpose and function of “a book,” Keri Smith offers an illustrated guide that asks readers to creatively examine all the different ways This Is Not a Book can be used. With intriguing promp
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Penguin Books (first published 2009)
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4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,420 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book changed my life. I was quite depressed, and bought 'This Is Not A Book' on a whim - but I started carrying it with me everywhere I went, and bought pretty much everything Keri Smith has ever release straight after falling in love with it.
We often stumble through life in a haze of work, drama and stress. Keri's book is how I started appreciating everything around me, and enjoying all of the seemingly mundane aspects of my everyday life. It allows you to be creative without having to be
Jul 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was staying with my parents for a few days, and spotted This Is Not a Book on one of their bookshelves. With a title like that, I just had to pick it up.

This Is Not a Book is a fun idea full of questions, tasks and challenges that will ensure every copy of This Is Not a Book is unique by the time you've finished it.

I think this would really appeal to young teenagers, especially creative and adventurous sorts. I would definitely have loved to receive this when I was younger.
Apr 14, 2019 is currently reading it
So, I'm seriously not artistically creative, and unsuccessful when I try to be crafty. But I want to be better at that stuff, whether it's crocheting or sketching or writing or whatever. Ok, so I try things like this. And this is pretty inspirational. But also exceedingly frustrating. When I was a teen or college student I might have been able to do these exercises, but not now so much. My origami boat, even after googling for better instructions, is *terrible.*

I think the book would be better i
Elaine D
Jun 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: artists, people trying to find themselves
Truth be told, I didn't really enjoy the book. I own How to be An Explorer of the World and I LOVED it! It changed my life! However, I just didn't get the same vibe from this book. I love the idea behind it but it's almost just a replica of Wreck This Journal. I still love Keri Smith and am SO glad that I picked it up and gave it go, but it just wasn't all that interesting to me.
Adineh Mz
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a different book, with different point of view
Jan 04, 2012 added it
it's not a book. it's inspiration.
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who don't like real books but who prefer activity books.
If it walks like a book, is bound like a book, has writing in it like a book, is shelved like a book, it must be a book--despite the title to the contrary.

Okay, I get the point: The reader brings her own experiences, etc. to a text to create, well, whatever she wants.

Still, claims to the contrary, Keri Smith's text is a book, albeit not a very good one. It's really a simplistic collection of activities.

I simply wanted the non-book to be more clever than it is, even though it does have a few ge
Nov 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I love this book, it makes you think outside the box or, well, book. I've done a couple of the ideas in it, mainly on the train, and bought a box of pencils especially for it.
Drew Benbow
This not-book is a wonderful way for me to not only waste my time, but free up y creativity and challenge me to do something new and inspirational at the same time! The idea is to essentially follow the instructions listed on each page and just invent, create and have fun.

For anyone looking to do the same, I would say that "This Is Not A Book" is a good use of time. Equipped with scissors, tape or glue, a ruler and a pencil, you will find hundreds of way to make this book into a personal keep s
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: crafters, bored office workers, teens, people pretending to write
So maybe I'm prejudiced against these books because they're sold at Urban Outfitters or the Barnes and Noble gift section, and they're as much toy as book.

On the other hand, it's as much toy as book.

It's also supposed to be an adventure and a decision maker and a decoration and a sculpture and a lot of things that you could actually have fun doing one-a-day to keep yourself in a creative mood.

It did shake me up. A few times. There's some low philosophy-level mindshifting stuff going on here.

Anna Livi Sheppard
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arts-crafts
Not as cool as Wreck This Journal, but it's a close second! I love the activities. But I wish there weren't so many that required other people to get involved. Or for you to go somewhere to do the activities. I don't have too many friends, so it's hard for me to get other people to do things in the journal. Other than that, it's fun!
Idania M.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
It's a really interesting activity book, there's still some pages I haven't finished but I think I'm not going to anyways so...
I bought it out of pure curiosity and was really surprised, it's something to do when you have free time or to make your temporary hobby.
Ali Ahmed
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
ummm it was fun.. waste of time
Jul 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
This is not a book worth paying full price for. I got it from a charity shop and the person who owned it before me, and donated it to a worthy cause, wrote on only four or five pages before giving up and giving it away. Apparently, this is not a book that is very much fun for a girl born in 1999, like the previous owner wrote on page 69. This is not a book that is particularly interesting for a 55-year-old woman like myself either. This is not a book that changed my life or pulled me out of depr ...more
Reading Fool
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways, 2017
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

An interesting concept, this is a thought-provoking fill-in-the-pages journal that would appeal to young people. The pages are mostly blank and have activities or questions to complete, ranging from "Record the events of your day" to "Write a list of things you want to avoid." This would be a good alternate to the smartphone; carry it with you and write in it instead of looking at a screen. Clever.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: artsy-crafty
The author has a lot of cool ideas to spark creativity and banish boredom and think outside of the box. I picked this over Wreck This Journal because it seemed productive as opposed to destructive but I accomplished very few of the exercises. Life is just too busy as a responsible adult and when I do have time for creative endeavors I have art projects I gravitate towards instead. Might be a lot of fun for a young person during summer vacation though.
kelly cope
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A really fun book to read and mess around with when you're bored! Or just for fun!👍👍
Feb 18, 2013 rated it liked it
My grandmother gave this book/ not a book (and yes, that's been used in every single review but whatever) for Christmas and I was bored so I decided to flip through it. I guess I just don't have the sense of humor to appreciate it. A lot of it is very involved and I was just looking for something to do with a little free time. Some of the activities I liked but others are boring and a lot are very similar. I might go to it again to find good ones I missed, or if I am bored again but I probably w ...more
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
While this handy dandy paperback may not be a book (or so it claims), it sure is a lot of fun.

I just purchased This Is Not a Book not too long ago and I definitely don't regret spending the money. As a creative person, this pseudo-book has provided me with hours of endless fun.

Without you, the object would not exist. You determine the final outcome of the product.

From the moment that you flip open to the first page, you are emerged into the story. Each page seems to reflect exactly what you c
Zyra Vicente
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-it, finished
This book is seriously a good escapade really. Very entertaining and a good book to waste your time on. For those who are bored to death you can always get this book from your shelf and use it as your own safe haven.

This Is Not A Book, doesn't have any plot or genre of somesort. You can do things to it like doodling on it, using it as a journal, or you can desecrate it in your own artistic way.

You determine what type of product "This Is Not A Book" will become. You have this book's fate in your
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: creativity
I already have The Pocket Scavanger and both versions of Wreck This Journal, so I thought I'd give this book a go and, so far, it hasn't let me down. It's allowing me to get creative in ways I never thought possible and, once again, Keri Smith has delivered.

PS: Page 42 was eaten by Deep Thought from The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy because it's the answer to life, the universe and everything, haha!
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book...isn't.

Actually, that doesn't make much sense.
This not-book is.

So what is it?

We don't know.
But we sure tried to figure it out!

Is it a voyage?
Is it a bureaucracy?
Is it a conundrum?
We can't decide!

So in the end, we said it's all of these, and slapped all these ideas together.

This is a very original book, with lots to do and a HUGE amount of kinds of ways to customize it.
I might see Wreck this Journal because of this book.
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a book of fun things to do. On each set of pages there is an activity - that involves some engagement with the world, the mind, the imagination. Each page put a smile on my face and got me to thinking. What is better than that! I really enjoyed spending time with this book - and thinking about how I respond to and relate to the world around me. A good thing to be thinking about on New Year’s Day!
Nov 14, 2012 rated it liked it
I am not enjoying it as much as I enjoyed Wreck This Journal. Some of the activities seem to similar to the ones from WTJ, or I just find them boring. I've started ripping pages out and sticking them into my journal instead. I am still planning to buy Finish This Book by Keri Smith though, I guess This Is Not A Book just isn't for me.
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
There are a lot of pages and activities in This Is Not a Book, that one would think it impossible to completely finish it. However, I do believe that Wreck This Journal is much more creative in the sense that the activities are more adjustable than the ones in this one. I would suggest to anyone who has finished Wreck This Journal to have a go at this one too.
Nov 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book just executes creativity, and it's made me observe the things I see in a completely different way. I loved all of the activities in it, and everything seemed like a mission for me to do, like I was an art spy or something. It was so much fun, I can't wait to create more art with her other books! She has inspired me so much. I feel like a kid again. : )
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hobby-craft
first of all, this is another expensive book by Keri Smith.
luckily i got a copy from a bargain shop for about 2 dollars.

the activities were fun, but some were totally ridiculous.
however this book is still entertaining.

and now it is like current trend for writers to write books similar to this concept of wreck this journal and other books by keri smith.

getting saturated.
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very Awesome!!!! I really enjoyed it. You had to used to your imagination and your thought process. I am going to buy her other books. I have already shown couple of my friends. They are very interested in her book.
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received this book from one of the goodreads giveaways just a few weeks ago, and I love books like these. I have had one of Keri Smith's books before, (Wreck this Journal) I had quite the trip with that journal and I am excited to dive into this journal as well. Thanks for the book!
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is truly not a book! You're going to have to open it up and look inside to see why. This book is great for any age and any grade. It doesn't matter if you are in Pre-k or a grown adult, as long as you have an imagination and a sense of fun, this book is for you1
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Keri Smith is an author/illustrator turned guerilla artist. She has several bestselling books, including Wreck This Journal, This is Not a Book, How To Be An Explorer of the World, Mess, Finish this Book, and The Wander Society all published by Penguin Books. Read more at her website http://WWW.KERISMITH.COM