26 June 2007

The last thing

I've always been a very keen reader. There was a time when I would read a book every couple of days but that was when I had time to lounge around and indulge in the effortless pleasure of good books. Now I've changed my reading habits and I usually have two or three books to read at one time. I have one in the house somewhere, one next to my bed and usually one in my bag - my travelling book. All these books are from the library because I rarely buy new books now. I gave up a lot of things to live more simply - pay TV, flying, imported food, new clothes and shoes every year; the last thing I gave up buying was books.

Here is a photo of one shelf in a bookcase that stands a few feet away. These are not library books. All these books are used fairly frequently, either as reference books, to lend to someone or just to reacquaint myself with the simple truth they contain or to again be inspired by the beauty of their composition.


  1. I love books as well Rhonda and have many on similar subjects as yourself. I am going to join the library here next week as a friend of mine is a real book worm and thinks I will love it in there.

  2. Wow I have some catching up to do on all your posts. I was too busy last week to read anything properly. Things should be more leisurely this week.

  3. Perfect time for me to leave a comment! I have been reading your blog for a few days, and want to thank you for all the useful information I have found in it. I am so pleased to have discovered Australian blogs on the topic of simple, environmentally friendly living.

    I am an avid reader but have limited my purchasing for the last few years. I have been surprised at how easy it was to stop buying every interesting book I saw and start focusing on the sound to noise ratio of my bookshelf by giving away those books I didn't really value and only purchasing books I was 100% sure would add significant, highly referenced content to my collection.

    I found myself squinting at your collection trying to make out book titles and authors, and realised I would love to know which books you have found most useful and relevant to your 'simple' lifestyle (or however you would like to describe it). I am especially interested in the one book you would recommend to someone starting a vegetable garden, or the one book you would want someone to read if they wanted to understand why you live differently to them. I presently have no green thumb (I only grow potted plants that are un-killable) and have been considering a few books, especially 'Permaculture home garden' by Linda Woodrow, but haven't gotten to the library to check it out yet. I can also see a time when I will need to educate/justify my life to the family and friends who just don't get why I want to add so much 'work' to my life, and to be honest, I don't have a particularly confident answer to that apart from 'it seems like the right thing to do'. Do you think you could do a post about all these kinds of books?

  4. I too love books, I borrow books from the library every week and I have about 3 on the go. I knock off after the dishes are done at night and read in bed for a couple of hours. I love to read gardening, self sufficiency and permaculture style books.

  5. Sorry the last anon comment was from Neisha.

  6. I love books too and like Louise said would love to hear about the particular books that you have found most beneficial. I borrow from the library all the time as do my children. I allow myself to buy a book if I find that I keep borrowing it.
    cheers Lenny

  7. Oh boy. I have many of the same books on my shelves. The ideas bank and reference library it's called. We have much in common, I think.

  8. An avid reader too. But squinting did me no good and had to enlarge the picture to read the titles. (My eye sight is really bad for a relatively young person!)

    An interesting and grey matter stimulating collection. Will have to see if my library has any of them.

  9. Thank you all for taking the time to comment. It really does make a big difference to how I feel about blogging when I get feedback. It makes me want to write more and more.

    Louise: when I first started on this path, the main problem I had was finding accurate and relevant information. That's one of the reasons I'm now writing a book on simple living. I will do a post later in the week on book recommendations.

    In the meantime, check out scarecrow's garden - http://scarecrowsgarden.blogspot.com/ - if you look at her side bar, she has an extremely good guide for beginners in the vegetable garden. The best Australian book I've ever read on vegetable gardening is sitting on my shelf there - Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting by Lyn Bagnall. Published by Scribe, ISBN 1 92076966 8. Linda Woodrow's The Permaculture Home Garden is on the next shelf down. It's also very good when you're starting out. Published by Viking ISBN 0 670 86599 0.

    Susan, I think books do link people. I generally find that if I like the same books, I will like that person.

  10. Please do make a book list. I love to peek at other peoples bookshelves.


  11. Much as I love books I rarely buy new ones any more. I use the library or occasionally buy nice old hardbacks at a local op-shop. For years I thought it was sacrilege to throw out books but now I happily pass them on. I feel now that they have to earn their place in my shelves.

  12. Thankyou for the book reccomendations. I have been reading scarecrow's garden recently so will have a look for those links. Looking forward to the book post!

    Also, Kate said: "I feel now that they [books] have to earn their place in my shelves." I totally agree!

  13. I also have a lot of these. I particularly love the Carla Emery one. I have the very old green edition, which is falling apart now but still loved. I wonder if there is anything new in your newer one....!?!


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