Monday, July 11, 2011

Head in the cloud

I finished Josh Waitzkin's The Art of Learning yesterday. It is an interesting hybrid of memoir and self-help book by someone who has competed at the highest level in two contrasting fields.
Josh Waitzkin knows what it means to be at the top of his game. A public figure since winning his first National Chess Championship at the age of nine, Waitzkin was catapulted into a media whirlwind as a teenager when his father's book Searching for Bobby Fischer was made into a major motion picture. After dominating the scholastic chess world for ten years, Waitzkin expanded his horizons, taking on the martial art Tai Chi Chuan and ultimately earning the title of World Champion. How was he able to reach the pinnacle of two disciplines that on the surface seem so different? "I've come to realize that what I am best at is not Tai Chi, and it is not chess," he says. "What I am best at is the art of learning."
I read a lot of it on my kindle on the Tube as I traveled to and from the West End on Saturday and then finished it on the netbook Sunday morning before I got up; the kindle software conveniently synchronizing how far I had read between the different platforms.

As I was reading I was naturally intrigued by the Searching for Bobby Fischer movie. Searching on Amazon, it wasn't easily available on DVD in the UK, but I could have got it as an ITunes download for £6.99, and think I probably would have if I had some sort of ITunes/TV connection set up, or perhaps if I was reading it on the IPad.

The days of books and DVDs are numbered.

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