The Idler

Fun and fulfilment through events, online courses and a magazine

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About

 

The Idler is a company devoted to helping people to lead more fulfilled lives. We publish a quarterly magazine and a series of guide books, produce quirky online courses, run live events and sell books and gifts. Our story Back in 1991, bored to tears by his job, 23 year old journalist Tom Hodgkinson lay on his bed and dreamed of starting a magazine called The Idler. He’d found the title in a collection of essays by Dr Johnson, himself a constitutionally indolent man. How to live, that was the question. How to be free in a world of jobs and debt? And curse this alarm clock. Tom was fortunately sacked from his job and started to sign on. He wandered across the road to where his old friend, designer and writer Gavin Pretor-Pinney lived. Gavin could get things done. He was the kind of person who could help Tom to realise this dream. And he did. In August 1993, the pair produced issue one of the Idler. It had the sub-title “literature for loafers”. Dr Johnson was the cover star and there was an interview with magic mushroom guru Terence McKenna. Contributors included a young journalist called Louis Theroux. The magazine has since enjoyed a number of incarnations. In the nineties it was published by the Guardian newspaper, then by Ebury publishing. Tom published the Idler as an annual collection of essays until 2014, then relaunched the mag as a quarterly journal in 2016.