Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.
Homely, ubiquitous, simple: the sock is such an everyday part of our lives, we tend to overlook its importance-unless there's a problem. Without socks, our feet are vulnerable to cold, infection, and discomfort. Put on a pair that's too thin, too thick, too itchy, holey, or damp and suddenly socks are maddeningly preoccupying. At their most basic, socks are an important technology of adaptation, without which human beings would not have migrated to many of the colder regions of the planet. Sometimes functional, sometimes fashionable, sometimes government issued, and often silly looking, the humble sock can be said to complete the human foot.
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in "The Atlantic."
About the Author
Kim Adrian is the author of the memoir The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet and the editor of The Shell Game: An Anthology of "Hermit Crab" Essays. She is a Visiting Lecturer in the Nonfiction Writing Program at Brown University.