Friday, August 12, 2016

Book Review: The More of Less

Do you want more money, more time, and less clutter and stress?  Blogger Joshua Becker's The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own, published this year, may be the book for you.
Winning The More of Less in a giveaway at Cheryl's blog, Homespun Devotions, came as a big surprise.  I had commented on her giveaway post about minimalism without giving it much thought, so when Cheryl wrote to say I had won, I did a double-take! "Wait...I entered a giveaway?!  Oh, come to think of it, I guess I did."  A few days later, I received it in the mail.  I was a skeptic, but decided to read it through. 

The good news Becker gives is that you don't have to be like any other minimalist--you can develop your own style.  And you don't have to get rid of everything and live a life of asceticism either!  Minimalism, as he defines it, is the promotion of the most valuable things in your life, and the removal of distractions, aiming toward finding the level of possessions that enables you to live the best life of which you are capable.

I enjoyed the book much more than I expected.  Becker shares stories from his own life and the lives of others, and relevant portions from the Bible.  He exposes the manipulation of marketers, condemns consumerism and the praising of excessive and opulent lifestyles, encourages generosity, and gives practical tips on getting rid of extra stuff that may be weighing you down.

Although I've always considered myself somewhat more of a "normalist," I was delighted to find that thanks to my parents and the Bible, I already know many of the principles of minimalism.  What matters most is God and people, not things...as Rachel Guerrero wrote in her book Staying on Topic is Hard (which I reviewed here).  The best gift you can give is your time.  Money and possessions can never bring happiness.

I already follow Becker's advice on not buying too much stuff...so...unfortunately, I personally am not going to have a bunch of surplus money after reading this book.  Most of my expenses are for food, travel, and the necessities of life.

When I worked house-cleaning, I was always inspired to get rid of surplus stuff of my own when I came home.  Reading this book gave me the same inspiration, with even better motivation.  Getting rid of stuff I don't need and/or don't like makes room for higher quality items I do like, and, instead of sitting in my closet collecting dust, extra items can be put to good use by others.

The More of Less is thought-provoking and well written.  Thanks Cheryl for a great read!

Also sharing this at the Springtime in Magnolia Book Club.

22 comments:

  1. I think most of us need reminders to pare down occasionally. As I've gotten older, I've realized more and more that I've collected way more stuff than I need. It's inevitable, I guess. We donate things all the time.

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    1. When we're busy, extra stuff (and clutter) can accumulate pretty quickly! Awesome that you donate!

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  2. Hi Bethany, The concept of paring down has sure taken off in the last few years. I will have to check out this book and see if I can find some new suggestions. I like the author's concept of developing your own style.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, John! Yes, I really appreciated that he encouraged people to find their own ways of doing things, rather than insisted that everyone do everything his way.

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  3. Wonderful review and post in general, Bethany! It sounds like a very interesting book. I am a minimalist; always have been. Clutter is very distracting and I find that the less things there are in my home, the happier I am, which is a big reason why I donate items throughout the year. It keeps it from accumulating.

    "Money and possessions can never bring happiness" Wise words from someone so young. It is absolutely true.

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    1. Glad to hear, Martha! I think I may remember from your blog, you mentioned having to downsize even more for an upcoming move.

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  4. Beautiful post, Bethany.
    Happy weekend:)
    Lucja

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  5. It really sounds like a book we should ALL read and heed.

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  6. And that's so important to do it the way YOU want to do it. In whatever that means. Yet, there's these rules added by some, live with 100 things, only have four shirts, or, you must only have three spoons, two forks and one butter knife.

    Rubbish.

    People need to do what works for them. That's the best.

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    1. I suppose the rules work for some people, but they would likely drive me crazy--and away from minimalism. You're right, Ivy, we just have to stick with what works for us.

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    2. For sure what works, yes.

      A friend emailed me today and told me that she donated 24 more purses that she just wasn't using and didn't need anymore.

      You have a great week.

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    3. Oh wow! That's awesome! Come to think of it, I have a couple extra purses...I almost always just carry my camera bag--a good way to make sure I always have my camera on me, and it fits everything I need.

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  7. It sounds like a good book, with advice that is sorely needed in our country. I agree with your principals!

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  8. Thank you for reviewing this book, Bethany! I am SO happy you won and that you read it all the way through and enjoyed it so much. That just blesses me so much! God is faithful, and if we follow Him and His way in this area of our lives, as well as all others, He will show us what is the right balance for each of us, individually. So thankful for His precious Holy Spirit and how He is faithful to be our Guide! I LOVE this book...love the thought of following Jesus and focusing more on the eternal than on the things of this world. All that is here will soon pass away, but what is done for Christ will resonate and echo all through eternity. God bless you, sweet friend. Thank you for your kind words and mention here.

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    1. Many thanks again to you, Cheryl! I enjoyed it!

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  9. I try to live this way. I don't need much outside of food and clothes and a few digital things.

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    1. Good for you! Thanks for stopping by, Adam!

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