Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Win-a-Book Wednesday: The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs (Also open thread)

Simple is always easiest--less stressful, less work, less suffocating. But it's hard to remember that in today's world, where there is so much that we have to have--so many gadgets, so many square feet of living space, so many clothes, so many cars, so much food. It is easy to think that consuming things makes ones life easier, better. It is easy to become gluttonous, burying your spirit and psyche figuratively, and, considering the rate of obesity in America, your body literally.

I'm thinking about simplicity because of a challenge Rev. Dr. Renita Weems made to the readers of her thought-provoking blog, Something Within:

Everyday between now and New Year’s day I’m going to spend a couple of hours cleaning away some of the clutter I’ve let accumulate over the year. Books I’ll never read again that can be donated to the library of the small Bible college on the other side of town. Clothes that need to be washed, folded, and donated to Goodwill. Old cell phones, adapter cords, cds, and kitchen appliances sitting on shelves gathering dust that I’ll have to search around to figure out how best to dispose of.

Think about it: everything you bring into your house becomes a responsibility. You have to care for it, worry about it, clean it, and eventually figure out how to dispose of it.

I have a good life, thank God, but I am always looking for ways to create a simpler life. It’s not easy. It takes time. It’s an ongoing battle. But today is a good day to start looking around and deciding what needs to be gotten rid of. It simply makes no sense carrying the stuff into the New Year. Making some gesture to rid myself of excess stuff around the house is a good way to end the old year and begin the new.

Take a leap of faith with me. Look around your house at the things that have outlived their usefulness, things you thought you needed but you now know you don’t, stuff that’s taking up physical and emotional space, some thing you could do with ridding yourself of before New Year’s Day. Read more...
I'm game to try this. In fact, as you know I've been trying to condense my book collection. (I am a book fiend.) I will keep my favorite works, but the rest I will donate, sell or give away. Why should I selfishly hoard all the knowledge I have accumulated on my bookshelves?

For those of you who are also yearning for a simple life, this week's Win-a-Book Wednesday feature is The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs. The Library Journal says of this book:

Editor and publisher of the Simple Living Journal, Luhrs has collated a valuable, comprehensive sourcebook of practical wisdom and inspiration for paring down life in order to live it to the fullest. Issues such as money, housing, work, health, nutrition, and travel are explored with a goal of "voluntary simplicity," favoring deliberate life choices over blind consumption and compulsion. A well-balanced combination of philosophical reflection, real-life anecdotes, practical strategies, and annotated reading lists make this a good addition for most public libraries.
The copy of The Simple Living Guide in this week's contest is a USED copy--battered and bruised, but still a worthy addition to your library.

Enter to win this book by participating in this open thread by Monday, Jan. 5. All names attached to this thread will be entered into a random drawing. The winner will be announced next Wednesday and that person can e-mail me with their mailing address. The book will be sent via USPS Media Mail.

The winner of the book is invited to post a review on What Tami Said.


quarter-life-crisis said...

I wish I could give away books.

I just got mad because my aunt LOST my favorite book (had to by it again) and tried to steal another one of my favorites!!! I never let people borrow them. It is a sickness.

My own weird little hobby, to collect books so that I can create my very own library one day.

Keep us updated on the outcome.

PureGracefulTree said...

Wow, you have a great collection. I want this too! But feel free to disqualify me if you think I should be ineligible after winning the last one.

rjweems said...

Thanks Tami for the shout out.

BTW, I've finished sorting through the books and have set aside a pile to giveaway. I'm down to rummaging through the container on my desk that holds all my felt and ink pens, dumping the ones that no longer write. LOL!!

slag said...

I did quite a bit of de-cluttering over the holiday with my significant other. I found it incredibly refreshing. He found it otherwise. Nonetheless, I'm still working to convince him that simplicity is where it's at. That we shouldn't buy stuff unless we're really committed to it for the long term. It's sometimes a hard sell, especially when he's just jonesing for the latest and greatest in geek gadgetry, but I keep trying.

Sally said...

I too can't seem to part with books. My mom was Viola Liuzzo and she taught me a great love of books. The home I grew up in before she passed was in NW Detroit and had a library. One of my favorite memories as a child was playing librarian with all my mom's books. My dream is to someday have a home that I could convert a room into a library.

Claudia said...

I'm definitely up for Dr. Weems's challenge. (and I'd love to win that book, so please enter me in the contest!) I came back from a trip to find more presents from grandma and grandpa littering our home and everywhere my eye falls is clutter and meaningless junk. I couldn't agree more with her claim that: everything you bring into your house becomes a responsibility. I'm going to start taking responsibility by liberating myself of these "things" and having a simpler life today!

Tami said...

Wow, Sally. Your mother was a courageous woman. I'm not surprised to hear that she loved books.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog.

For those who don't know the name Viola Liuzzo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viola_Liuzzo

Tami said...

Oh, and believe me Quarter Life and Sally, it is hard for me to give away books. I am such a book fanatic that half-read and unread books litter my shelves, plus ones that I have read, enjoyed, and probably won't pick up again. I have belonged to a bunch of book clubs over the years and so have quite a few books that were sent to me because I was too lazy to send back the little cards marked "Don't Send." Some of those books are just not my speed and so I give them to the library, sell them, etc.

But if you only saw the number of books I am keeping...

slag said...

This is probably cheating, but I keep all my books in sideboards/buffets throughout the house. I even have one in the bedroom (Ikea, baby!). Although I love my books dearly (probably too much), I find they're not always the prettiest things to look at and can make things seem more cluttered when they're out in the open. So, it works out well to have them stored dust-free in nice pieces of furniture that can hold quite a few of them still provide easy to access to them all.

/holly homemaker

Yoli said...

Tami, just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year. Thank you for all you do for us at ARP.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for putting the link to Viola Liuzzo in the comments - I wouldn't have looked her up otherwise, and I'm so glad I did.

As for books...my family collects them like crazy. I think I was about 2 when my dad started taking us on weekly trips to the library. I love books. I lugged around my ever-growing collection to at least 8 different homes in 5 years before finally deciding enough was enough.

If I ever find a town and house where I want to settle indefinitely maybe I will start building my collection up again, but for now I figure that's what the library is for (I LOVE the library). I've finally managed to give away or donate nearly all of my books, and while it was SO HARD to part with them, let me tell you, I have not regretted it for one single second.

A simpler life, indeed.

Murmer said...

Hi, just found this blog through ARP...I have more than 2,000 books...comes as a result of teaching 1st grade for 5 years. :)


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