Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter Paperback – May 1 1994
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"A guide for our time."―Vanity Fair
About the Author
Elaine St. James, former real estate businesswoman, is the author of the national bestsellers Simplify Your Life and Inner Simplicity. She lives a quiet, simple life in Santa Barbara, California.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is helpful to the person who is just starting out on the simple path in life. There are some helpful suggestions, simplify your meals, don't answer the phone, ect. The problem is, for many people, getting rid of the boat, or only having one checking account isn't even an option. The audience for this book is not the middle middle, or lower middle class person.
Further, there is little to no help for those whose idea of simplicity is saving more money. While many of the ideas could save you money, other will cost money.
To find this book helpful, you really need to consider what you want. This book is NOT for all readers.
The book opens with a scenario in which a mother has forgotten to pick up her child and the child is stranded somewhere late in the evening while she tries to figure out a way to get someone else to go pick him up now that she's home and needs to make dinner. This did not bode well for the rest of the book [for those of us who don't routinely completely forget about our children and leave them alone in public places late at night....]
Much of the advice in this book falls into the category of "simplify your life with children by paying someone else to deal with the little brats". There is much about how parents should put their children in day care all day [and don't EVER let your child think they have the ability to cause you to delay your departure because of their pathetic tears, etc, etc, etc] and then get a sitter to care for the children in the evenings so mom can have "Me" time and parents can have "Us" time. Apparently, if you schedule 2 hours of "quality time" on Sunday afternoon with your kids, that's really all they need.
There was also a big push to teach the kids "self sufficiency" - as in, your 5 year old really can get his own breakfast so he doesn't "bother" you.Read more ›
To understand why, remember that this is really a collection of ideas that St. James and her husband have already put into place in their lives. They were hard core yuppie materialists in the 80's and decided to simplify their lives to have more time for each other. The author's recommendations reflect this orientation. "Get rid of your boat" is obviously not going to apply for everyone. Some of the suggestions to limit your time with others also probably assume that you've already found a life partner; single folks should keep this in mind as they read.
The format of this book also makes for a strange alternation between huge, life-changing choices (move to where you can be close to your workplace), and weirdly specific recommendations (stop using nail polish). I found this to be a little odd, but if you are just looking for ideas, it probably won't bother you. I also found the suggestion to "change your expecations", which turned out to mean, "avoid doing difficult things" to be defeatist and unhelpful.
There are some great ideas in this book in every section. Some of the suggestions are challenging, but could yield great results. Each one, although not helpful to EVERYONE, will probably be helpful to SOMEONE. For these reasons, I'm giving it three stars. The book could be very useful as a way to provoke thought about what is really necessary in your life. Just don't look to it as an all purpose guide, and keep in mind the backgrounds of the authors as you read.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is very basic all you need to do is common sense.I'm not really impressed.I think the author needs to discussed more about it.Published on Aug. 30 2012 by jessielyn
Everyone should read this book. It really makes a person examine their "material" side.Published on Aug. 31 2009 by Gail Eckstrand
It is probably most effective to read the first twenty pages or so and skim the rest. Not up to par with "Simplify Your Life", but the early parts still have some very... Read morePublished on Nov. 6 2003 by Randy Given
Great but common sense ideas to simplify your life. Without any doubt. Are they all needed though?
The first time you read it, you will start asking yourself if you can... Read more
This is my second purchase of "Simplify Your Life." I recommend this to any person who is feeling a little overwhelmed by the day-to-day hassles in your life. Read morePublished on Dec 24 2002 by Mommy
Elaine's is the first book that gave me the courage to throw or give the stuff away instead of just pushing it around. Read morePublished on Dec 17 2002
I won't restate what has been said by other amazon reviewers of this book - this book was a waste of my time and money. I had so enjoyed St. Read morePublished on June 15 2002 by kari
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