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.

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