My C. S. Lewis Day

My C. S. Lewis Day November 9, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

As you know, I’m working on a project of accomplishing 101 things in 1001 days. One of those things was to try out C. S. Lewis’s perfect day. In Surprised by Joy, Lewis looks back on his days at Great Bookham with his tutor Mr Kirkpatrick, also known as the Old Knock. Lewis’s Bookham days, he says, were some of the best and the model for his ideal day.

The day would look something like this:

8:00 Breakfast

9:00-1:00 Work

11:00 Tea or Coffee

1:00 Lunch

2:00-4:15 Walk

4:15 Tea

5:00-7:00 Work

7:00 Dinner

10:00/11:00 Bed

So, I decided to give it a try. Yesterday, was my attempt at living out Lewis’s ideal day. I had to make some alterations, though. I’m still too accustomed to getting up much earlier than Lewis, plus now we have Internet and TV. Still I did my best. Here’s what my day looked:

5:00 Shower

5:30-8:00 Devotions and Work

8:00 Breakfast

9:00-1:00 Work

1:00 Lunch

2:00-4:15 Light reading and one TV Show (the weather was too inclement for a 2 hour walk)

4:15 Tea and more light reading

5:00-6:30 Work

6:30-7:00 Light reading

7:00 Dinner and shows with the wife.

9:00 Reading with wife

10:00 Bed


As I said, I had to make some changes, but generally I liked Lewis’s ideal day, except it didn’t really include time with people. Also, Lewis being a bachelor even at the time of writing Surprised by Joy, couldn’t conceive of an ideal day which included time with a wife. His loss. He realised his mistake later in life.

What about you? Do you have an ideal day? An ideal routine for working?

Let me know.

Sincerely Yours,


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  • Roger Kiser II

    This day is missing time with children, something I don’t feel could be an ideal day without.

    • Roger,

      You are not wrong, but I will say this: 1. Lewis never had children of his own, though he did adopt his wife’s two boys but that was long after he described his ideal day in Surprised by Joy. 2. I didn’t have kids when I did this.