Although there is no shortage of books about time by competent writers (Adler Asimov) this one is especially readable. Mr. Neal recognizes the abstract fascination of time and applies himself to the history, stories, incidents and quirks charting man's attempts to comprehend and grapple with the elusive element. He tackles directly the various methods and devices used to determine the time from sun dials(with fine do-it-yourself instructions) right through to atomic frequency ""clocks,"" placing his emphasis on the U.S. Of special interest to New Yorkers is the full description of the Jefferson Market Courthouse (soon to be a library) clock and the old Times Tower ball which heralded the New Year. The main text is a veritable clock watcher's delight. The bibliography is not especially aimed at juvenile readers since entries date from 1875, and include Einstein's ""Relativity.