Soon (History of Procrastination)

Spread the love

A book review of Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, from Leonardo and Darwin to You and Me by Andrew Santella

A book review of Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, from Leonardo and Darwin to You and Me by Andrew Santella

Stars: ****

Dey Street Books (2018)
Time Management
208 pages

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: An entertaining, fact-filled defense of the nearly universal tendency to procrastinate, drawing on the stories of history’s greatest delayers, and on the work of psychologists, philosophers, and behavioral economists to explain why we put off what we’re supposed to be doing and why we shouldn’t feel so bad about it.

Like so many of us, including most of America’s workforce, and nearly two-thirds of all university students, Andrew Santella procrastinates. Concerned about his habit, but not quite ready to give it up, he set out to learn all he could about the human tendency to delay. He studied history’s greatest procrastinators to gain insights into human behavior, and also, he writes, to kill time, “research being the best way to avoid real work.”

He talked with psychologists, philosophers, and priests. He visited New Orleans’ French Quarter, home to a shrine to the patron saint of procrastinators.  And at the home of Charles Darwin outside London, he learned why the great naturalist delayed writing his masterwork for more than two decades.

Drawing on an eclectic mix of historical case studies in procrastination—from Leonardo da Vinci to Frank Lloyd Wright, and from Old Testament prophets to Civil War generals—Santella offers a sympathetic take on habitual postponement. He questions our devotion to “the cult of efficiency” and suggests that delay and deferral can help us understand what truly matters to us. Being attentive to our procrastination, Santella writes, means asking, “whether the things the world wants us to do are really worth doing.”  

Soon (History of Procrastination)

If you are looking for a book to teach you to stop procrastinating, this is NOT that book. This is an homage to procrastination. The author procrastinates all the time and even procrastinated on writing the book. He uses real life examples from history to show that people have always procrastinated, and probably always will.

You’ll hear more about Charles Darwin, Leonardo da Vinci and other people from history who seemingly procrastinated. He reveals what his research found and what others who write or talk about procrastination have to say.

It’s a short book and can be read in one sitting if you’re a reader like me. Reading the book is just for fun, it won’t better your life or anything. However it may make you feel less guilty about procrastinating or help you understand you’re not alone in doing it.

Buy Soon at and help support the blog.

Find Soon at Goodreads.

About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.