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A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder

By Andrew Lovett-Barron
Published in Reading
February 02, 2021
1 min read

A Place of My Own — like most of Pollan’s books — is a wander through something quotidian. By the end, you’re chiding yourself for having been so blind as to have ever dismissed something like fruit, gardening, construction, etc. as even remotely banal or unworthy of your time. His books are artefacts of someone learning a lesson and passing it on.

I initially picked up A Place of My Own when my wife and I bought some land in her home town near Banff in British Columbia. The plan is a long one (especially as we’re currently in Denmark…), but it’s a future grounded in something very real. Though I picked up the book to try and learn about building, through an author I enjoyed, what I actually took away was something more intangible around process and place. I put a pretty high premium on my work space: whether it’s the tools that I use, the studio I inhabit, or the location where the work is actually done. A Place Of My Own nicely frames some of those discussions for me, arguing, that while the time invested in that curation is worthwhile, its real worth might actually be in the reflection brought on by the act of curating and building itself — instead of the physical outcome of that work.

Anyway. Highly recommend picking it up. It’s a quick and enjoyable read that will leave you both entertained and reflective.


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Andrew Lovett-Barron

Software Designer and Researcher

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