The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It


By Ian Leslie

Read by Sean Runnette

Formats and Prices





  1. Audiobook Download (Unabridged) $24.99
  2. ebook $13.99
  3. Trade Paperback $18.99

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 28, 2021. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

A fun yet provocative look at the importance of staying curious in an increasingly indifferent world

Everyone is born curious. But only some retain the habits of exploring, learning, and discovering as they grow older. Those who do so tend to be smarter, more creative, and more successful. But at the very moment when the rewards of curiosity have never been higher, it is misunderstood and undervalued, and increasingly monopolized by the cognitive elite. A “curiosity divide” is opening up.

In Curious, Ian Leslie makes a passionate case for the cultivation of our “desire to know.” Drawing on fascinating research from psychology, economics, education, and business, Leslie looks at what feeds curiosity and what starves it, and finds surprising answers. Curiosity is a mental muscle that atrophies without regular exercise and a habit that parents, schools, and workplaces need to nurture.

Filled with inspiring stories, case studies, and practical advice, Curious will change the way you think about your own mental life, and that of those around you.

  • "Leslie...writes convincingly...about the human need and desire to learn deeply and develop expertise."
    Wall Street Journal
  • "Leslie delineates the various types of curiosity and what might be lost as we lean on search engines and offload our memories to cloud storage. He's at his best when considering how socioeconomic conditions impede curiosity."
    New York Times Book Review
  • "A refreshingly commonsensical voice in the ongoing argument over how to best mold human minds."
    Scientific American Mind
  • "Ian Leslie's fine new book Curious constitutes an excellent bridge between the two sides of the facts vs. experiences learning debate."
    Inside Higher Ed
  • Highly recommended for educators of all kinds. Leslie reaches to the true heart of education - turning students into 21st-century learners by bringing back that curiosity."
    Library Journal
  • "A beautiful and important exploration of the need to nurture, develop, and explore our curiosity even when we've long left our childhood behind."
    Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes
  • "With this enthralling manifesto on the power of curiosity, Ian Leslie has written a book that displays all the key characteristics of its subject matter: an inquisitive, open-minded, and ultimately deeply rewarding exploration of the human mind's appetite for new ideas."
    Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From
  • "This book is a beautiful and fascinating tribute to one of mankind's most important virtues."
    Tyler Cowen, George Mason University

On Sale
Sep 28, 2021
Hachette Audio

Ian Leslie

About the Author

Ian Leslie writes on psychology, social trends, and politics for publications in the UK and US, including Slate, the Economist, NPR,, the Guardian, Daily Mail, the Times, Daily Telegraph, and Granta. He lives in London.

Learn more about this author