The Power of Books

As the desire to clear my house of clutter has been reborn with the coming of spring, I’ve discovered some more good reads to share in terms of taking charge of your living space and how you run your life.

Although I had read a couple of posts on Zen Habits and Mnmlist that friends had shared with me, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago I discovered blogger Leo Babauta had published a book about the same concepts, called The Power of Less. Although I lack motivation to finish the five books I’m currently in the middle of reading, I picked this up from the library and NOM! NOM! NOM! the book monster devoured its contents in three hours. I’m already attempting to incorporate one of the concepts in my daily life, in order to keep me progressing daily toward the larger goals.

On page 60, I found something hauntingly familiar:
Let’s say we have a huge task staring us in the face: “Write Annual Report.” We look at that task, and we stare at it, and we know we should do it, but we stare at it some more. Then we check our email, or check our bank account (“My balance is still negative?”), or log on to a forum or site we enjoy, or call a friend or coworker. The large task doesn’t get done.
Ah, Leo, you understand me like nobody else.

I’d like to buy a copy of this book as a reference, but that’s kind of the opposite of what I’m going for here, you know? I’ll have to settle for checking it out of the library again when I’m ready to incorporate another idea into my daily life.

Even before I had read The Power of Less, I had downloaded The Art of Being Minimalist during a day on which you could do so for free. The author, Everett Bogue, also blogs about minimalism at Far Beyond the Stars and lived in Portland a short time.

While I found a lot to value in this e-book, I also felt that Bogue clearly had an easier time embracing minimalism and working remotely because of his age and life status. He admits most of his money was spent on going to bars instead of buying material items that cluttered his life. Bogue, unlike Babauta, is not a married homeowner with six(!) children, and his writing better addresses the twenty-something hipsters than most of middle America. As a homeowner who has a life commitment to her dog, the urban ascetic life Bogue suggests is impractical for me, but I still found great ideas I can use to continue moving forward.

Now that my purging spirit has been revitalized, I’ve weeded out more clutter to donate to the thrift store, and another couple boxes of books to sell to Powell’s. A few new things have been listed on Craigslist. Onward!

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