We all breathe – 25,000 times a day – so why aren’t we better at it?

Covid-19 has been bad news for writers with books coming out — unless the book is about breathing. We’re all now gripped by our airways, by the significance of a runny nose, a sore throat or chest tightness. We know to dread that once obscure symptom, anosmia. We debate the risks of breathing through two-ply cotton. Thousands of ITU patients delegate their respiratory effort to machines that punch at compliant lungs. The world was winded by George Floyd’s last words: ‘I can’t breathe.’ James Nestor’s fascinating new book is playful and optimistic. Everyone breathes — 25,000 times each day — but few of us are good at it. Evolution prioritised