how to: the book

Now a #1 New York Times best seller! For any task you might want to do, there's a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally bad that no one would ever try it. How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems is a guide to the third kind of approach. It's the world's least useful self-help book.

It describes how to cross a river by removing all the water, outlines some of the many uses for lava around the home, and teaches you how to use experimental military research to ensure that your friends will never again ask you to help them move.

With text, charts, and stick-figure illustrations, How To walks you through useless but entertaining approaches to common problems, using bad advice to explore some of the stranger and more interesting science and technology underlying the world around us.

Want to know more? Read excerpts from the book here:

Praise for How To:

"How To will make you laugh as you learn . . . With How To, you can't help but appreciate the glorious complexity of our universe and the amazing breadth of humanity's effort to comprehend it. If you want some lightweight edification, you won't go wrong with How To." -CNET

"How To is a pure delight, a salty-sweet mixture of hard science and bonkers whimsy." -BoingBoing

"[Munroe] cleverly illustrates a guide of complicated solutions to simple tasks, thinking up Rube Goldbergian solutions to tasks as common as digging a hole." -USA Today

"[How To] tackles problems from the mundane—such as how to move to a new house—to those that may trouble a mad scientist building her first lava moat. The solutions are often hilariously, and purposefully, absurd. Embedded in these solutions, however, is solid scientific, engineering, and experimental understanding." —Science Magazine

"[How To] has science and jokes in it, so 10/10 can recommend." -Simone Giertz

"A witty, educational examination of 'unusual approaches to common tasks' . . . generously laced with dry humor . . . Munroe's comic stick-figure art is an added bonus. . . . Apart from generating laughter, the book also manages to achieve his serious objective: to get his audience thinking." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

out now from publishers worldwide!

United States & Canada | Riverhead Books

September 3, 2019

available to order from: Penguin Random House, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Barnes and Noble Exclusive Edition, IndieBound, Apple Books, Audible, and Target

Germany | Penguin Verlag

3 September 2019

available to order from: Random House, Amazon

UK, Commonwealth, and Ireland | John Murray

3 September 2019

available to order from: UK Waterstones, UK Amazon, AU Booktopia

Netherlands | Spectrum

3 September 2019

available to order from: Bol

Sweden | Volante Publishing

20 October 2019

available to order from: Volante

Simplified Chinese (China) United Sky

1 April 2020

available to order from: DangDang

Traditional Chinese (Taiwan) | Commonwealth Publishing

20 January 2020

available to order from:

the books

What If?

Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

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Thing Explainer

Complicated Stuff in Simple Words

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What If? 2

More Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

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