Well, Joshua Becker is the author of the blog, Becoming Minimalist, and he wrote a book that he just launched yesterday. The book is called “Living With Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness”. And I got to review it!
This book is a little different than others on minimalism because Mr. Becker approaches minimalism from a Christian perspective and his target audience is teenagers.
He sent me a PDF copy and I started reading. I am a sucker for self-help books.
First, I gotta say I loved the font choice. This may be a small matter, but it is an important one to me since I have been known to boycott businesses merely because of their choice of font. But on to points that normal people care about:
The book was a quick and easy read. I finished reading it in 3 sittings. The layout was super reader friendly and the ideas were succinct, well organized and easy to follow. Although the book is targeted toward teenagers, I didn’t feel like it was dumbed down or too fluffy (or maybe I just read at a teenagers level?) In fact, I forgot that it was for teenagers until I read a part about babysitting and allowance.
I appreciated that the book tackled minimalism from a spiritual perspective. Mr. Becker used many scriptures from the Bible to show how Jesus taught about minimalism. The scriptural perspective was interesting and thought provoking but not overbearing.
I also appreciated that he discussed some of the misconceptions and myths concerning minimalism in the book. It is important to resolve people’s concerns about new ideas or practices so that they can accept or reject the other information without bias.
My favorite parts of the book were when Mr. Becker went into the benefits of minimalism. He mentions 13 practical benefits– everything from ‘your house is easier to clean’ to ‘it is good for the environment’. And then he devotes an entire chapter to the “heart impact of choosing less” with benefits like gratitude and contentment. I like knowing “why” I should do something and he presented convincing reasons that appealed to my head and my heart.
I love that the author wanted to reach teenagers. They are just starting out in life and the earlier you know about the option of owning less, the better. Because it is so much easier to never own stuff than to de-own it. This book also could be a way for parents to bridge the topic of minimalism with teenagers.
My only disappointment with “Living With Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness” was that I wanted more specific real life examples to support his theories. There were some examples and personal stories, but I wanted more. Maybe some more vignettes or testimonials from other people that are living a minimalist lifestyle. I guess I like to know what theory looks like in real, every day life.
Overall, I am glad I had the opportunity to read this book. I enjoyed it and learned from it. The book gave me a lot to think about and talk to my family about. (And it inspired me to go through my game closet and my kids’ school papers. I am on a roll!)
If you have more questions about the book, you can always check Mr. Becker’s blog post where he introduces his book.