Book by Leo Babauta The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life

365 texts books minimalism

Goal of the day: 391 words. Written: 561.

Books about simplicity should be simple.

Or at least I am convinced of that. After all, if the author has failed to write in simple terms what he wants to teach, how can I be sure that he knows what he is talking about?

(I listened to my own words while writing and "The Lazy Manifesto".)

Leo Babauta, who has been writing one the world's most popular blogs on simplicity and personal development... He managed to do just that.

Well, or not at all. Because any idea or group of ideas can be simplified to a single word with sufficient simplification. This book is a little longer. But for this book, the word would probably be 'simpler'.

The technical side of the book

The book is available in electronic format onlyas a paper format would still go against the principles of minimalism. There are 105 pages, with plenty of space between paragraphs, lines and on the sides.

The design of the book is simple (how unexpected!). Black letters on a white background, two fonts - sans serif (I guess Arial or similar) for the headings and quotes, serif (similar to Georgia) for the rest of the text.

Design-wise, it's perfect. What more could you want?

By the way: I'm getting into design because I believe that any book should have a beautiful design. An unreadable book will be... well, unreadable... regardless of its content. That is important.

What is this book about?

A simple guide to minimalism is a simple guide to minimalism.

(And repetition is a very good argument because it is repetition.)

The book consists of around 20 chapters.

It starts with an overview of the principles of simple living and answers the question of what minimalism is. And, more generally, why we need it and why it never ends. This third of the book is quite interesting, even though it basically just presents the basics.

Although, on reflection, there is not much to say about simplicity in the book. It is a life of wanting, planning, owning, worrying and buying less. Simpler. Haven't you figured that out yet?
The remaining 60% or so of the book is ideas.

Where the principles of minimalism can be applied, how to get started and what a simpler life looks like if you've never experienced it.

This part of the book is like a series of short articles on the parts of life: home, wardrobe, planning, computer, finance, health, food, sport and so on. The things that make up life.
But more importantly, what did I learn from this book?

Here are some of the things this book has taught or reminded me:

  • Simplicity is happiness. Giving up what is unnecessary does not make life heavy. Things left at home don't get in the way of travel. Unrealistic plans do not exist and do not prevent happiness.
  • Simplicity is a journey. It is not necessary or even advisable to take one day and throw away all your belongings or get rid of 99% of your plans. It's better to start with one room, idea or item. And learn slowly. Travel. Grow.
  • Life doesn't have to be complicated. And I don't know why anyone would think otherwise. Because if life is hard, it is always possible to simplify it. To let go of what drags you down to the bottom of the lake.
  • Even simple books can be good. And that's a bit of an inspiration for me to write the book myself. Because this one is not complicated. It's simple, it's honest... and at the same time it's useful and enjoyable. 🙂

Of course, there were more ideas and thoughts in the book. But these have stuck with me the most.

This is generally... I recommend this book.

I liked it. She was good. Even cloud-like. I've read it three times now, and I'm still finding something useful. Even among so few words. 😉

My rating:

Four and a half clouds out of five (4.5 / 5).

I took half a mark off for... Well, I don't really know. I just feel that although the book is on my favourites list, I'm not so enamoured with it that I'd write a five.

This may be because much of the book repeats Leo Babauta ZenHabits(.net) articles on minimalism. For me, personally, I had already heard about the book.

But if you haven't heard of minimalism or a simpler way of living, and life is pressing and crushing...

...It is definitely worth reading and rereading!


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