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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very inspiring
I have read a number of books and blogs about simple living, and this is the most enjoyable I've read. Please be aware: this book isn't, and doesn't claim to be, the last word on how to achieve the simple life. Only you can work that out for yourself, and in fact I find it annoying when other writers are too definitive about how YOU should do what THEY do. I loved it...
Published on 26 Oct 2011 by bookworm

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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the restless children of a restless civilization
That's how John Lane describes us in his book `Timeless Simplicity: Creative living in a consumer society`. I finished it on the train today while being held outside Waterloo station on full security alert. It's a short book, kind of an introduction to the idea of voluntary simplicity - the cutting out of unnecessary modern clutter to make way for the more meaningful...
Published on 18 April 2008 by Jeremy Williams


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very inspiring, 26 Oct 2011
This review is from: Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society (Paperback)
I have read a number of books and blogs about simple living, and this is the most enjoyable I've read. Please be aware: this book isn't, and doesn't claim to be, the last word on how to achieve the simple life. Only you can work that out for yourself, and in fact I find it annoying when other writers are too definitive about how YOU should do what THEY do. I loved it because it gave me so much food for thought, particularly about seeking opportunities for creativity in my life. I will definitely read it again.
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71 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich living without the "stuff", 17 Jan 2003
By 
Angel Jem "Angel Jem" (Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society (Paperback)
John Lane has written a book that sets out to help anyone wanting to simplify their life. It has chapters that focus on 'why simplicity?', obstacles that may arise and a short but comprehensive history of simplicity through the ages as well as sections that help to show how- not with precise, detailed instructions but with an impression of what to do.
My favourite chapter is 'The sacred arts of life' which has short sections on food, homemaking (how much more satisfying a term than housekeeping!), the garden and cooking. I'd like to read a whole book just on these alone!
The book is illustrated by woodcuts of simple living e.g. the cover's hands kneading bread and these provide images to meditate on while you read. Chapters are prefaced by suitable passages or quotes, and words from the masters are interspersed throughout. A rather short bibliography is compensated for by detailed chapter notes and bibliographies which provide a 'next step' in the simplification chain.
I have read the book several times and am now in the process of passing it on to help others to simplify.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel Like You Never Have Enough Money? Read This Book And Relax!, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society (Paperback)
If I ever feel stressed and hopeless about my financial future I re-read this book. It brings everything in prospective. The consumer society puts everyone under enormous pressure to aquire and replace. This is a gentle reminder that we all have 'sufficient unto the day' and any more than that is just a lead weight on our health and spirit.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the restless children of a restless civilization, 18 April 2008
By 
Jeremy Williams (Luton) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society (Paperback)
That's how John Lane describes us in his book `Timeless Simplicity: Creative living in a consumer society`. I finished it on the train today while being held outside Waterloo station on full security alert. It's a short book, kind of an introduction to the idea of voluntary simplicity - the cutting out of unnecessary modern clutter to make way for the more meaningful things of life.
There's not a lot of practical advice offered, so you'd want to look elsewhere for that, but there are some useful summaries of the spiritual traditions of simplicity - eastern and western, Christian and Zen. They have a lot in common at times, more than you might think. Simplicity and contentment seem to be very common values across the spiritual traditions. It's nothing new either. Perhaps being `restless children' is not so much a trait among modern individuals, as a characteristic of being human.

I'm giving this three stars for being a little bit long winded and rambling, but otherwise it's a useful book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Simplicity, 8 Jun 2011
This review is from: Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society (Paperback)
I live a fairly simple and frugal life and bought this book for more inspiration. I read it from cover to cover and thoroughly enjoyed it, I found it inspirational and strangely relaxing. When I was suffering extreme stress at work, I read it again. It seemed to calm and balance me. Then I was made redundant and went into a not too serious depression. Read this book again and it helped put things into perspective. I am certainly not saying the book is a cure for anything but it really does help you to look at things from a different angle. Love it.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book to get the soul thinking, 19 Dec 2003
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This review is from: Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society (Paperback)
I enjoyed reading this book. The book gets behind the spiritual benefits of simple living and makes many references to historical figures who choose to live a simple and harmonious life.
This book is not a cookbook of things to do but instead gets one thinking and lets us decide how we go about the finer points of simplifying our own lives.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A straight-forward book., 24 Sep 2006
By 
A. M. Douglas "A Reader" (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society (Paperback)
I find this book to be more straight-forward in presenting the ideas of voluntary simplicity. There's no new-age or hippy stuff here, just a sensible description of voluntary simplicity, what it is, some obstacles. I keep re-reading it and it is quite small. I haven't managed to read Elgin's classic text because it's written in a different style - this, i think, is much easier to start with.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a how-to book, 11 July 2010
This review is from: Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society (Paperback)
This book is a good introduction to the idea of a living a more simple life and includes a history of some who adhered to a more simple way of living. It does not provide much practical information on how to live more simply. The content is good- just not what i was expecting or looking for.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed my life., 29 Nov 2011
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This review is from: Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society (Paperback)
This book truly changed the way in which I view my whole life, in the most wonderful way. If you have ever felt dissatisfied with our consumer culture, despairing at the loss of community life, fed up of the rat race... read this book. And those of you who haven't... still read it!
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32 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dissappointing conservative rant, 25 April 2008
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This review is from: Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society (Paperback)
I ought to like this book, but I really don't. It has illustrations by Clifford Harper, whose work I really like. It is a critique of mindless materialism. It is about how stuff that is supposed to make you happy doesn't. All themes that I think about a lot.

But this is so relentlessly reactionary. Lots of stuff about God and religion. Sidebar quotes from Roger Scruton; don't any of these so-called Conservatives remember that it was their favourite government that swept away everything that stood in the way of their great God market? New Labour are really just amateurs at 'reform' compared to the 'modernisers' of the Thatcher years, who modernised entire industries and communities out of existence.

A thoughtless attitude that seems to say that 'high culture' has enduring value, but 'popular culture' doesn't (though he makes an exception for Bob Dylan). By the way, if music really is so spiritually enhancing, then why not a good word to say for the technology of recording and digital distribution, which means that far more people can listen to more good music than would ever have been possible without it?

A general presumption that things were better in the past - when we all lived in harmony with nature and performed meaningful craft work. A sense of history that seems to have come from watching Hovis advertisements -- oops, I forgot, the author doesn't watch television.

I'm all for simplification, and for a rejection of relentless consumerism. Do yourself a favour and simplify your book collection by not bothering to read this.
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