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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
20
4.4 out of 5 stars
Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society
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on 2 July 2014
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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on 1 September 2017
Great book which I highly recommend if the simple life appeals to you.I would add though that the main obstacle in getting of the treadmill is the high cost of housing in the UK both for purchase or rental.
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on 26 October 2011
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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VINE VOICEon 17 January 2003
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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on 18 April 2008
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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on 22 April 2015
Just a stunning little book. Not what I originally thought it would be, but ended up being better. Nicely written in an easy style that engages without lecturing. Once I started, I could not put it down (which is unusual for me). Everyone can get something from this book - read it - share it!
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on 6 February 2012
I expected from the title of the book that this would be a book giving tips for living simply but instead it was a book trying to convince me I should live simply. I already want to live simply. I agree with the theory of the book, the book is well written and makes good points. I imagine the book would be useful to anyone unsure if they should simplify their life but to me it didn't offer enough instruction or suggest enough ideas to fulfil a simple life.
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on 19 December 2003
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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on 24 September 2006
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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on 8 June 2011
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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