Reading Matters

‘The Joy of Less’ reminds us what’s important

I’m a sucker for any book that uses the words “declutter,” “simplify,” “the joy of less.” I can’t be encouraged too often to throw out, give away or donate items I use only rarely.

So I grabbed the latest in the Chicken Soup for the Soul books – “The Joy of Less: 101 Stories about Having More by Simplifying Our Lives,” by Amy Newmark and Brooke Burke-Charvet.

Anything new here?

Definitely. One woman wrote that after adding to all manner of her collections for years, she put a big table out by the curb, loaded it with “stuff,” and attached a sign saying, “FREE.”

A busy psychotherapist, who started breaking out in a rash, canceled her mid-day clients and started taking yoga. She said, “”Yoga is like putting on my reading glasses, allowing me to see what is closest to me, which can get blurred caring for others.”

A woman living on her retirement check at last gave up her storage unit – and the bill that went with it – and, in the process, found a box of broken jewelry. She took the box to a gold redemption place and got $1,500.

Of course some of the chapters are a bit sappy. But they each remind me that I could live with less, and that’s a reminder I need every day. As Socrates said: “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

Dannye: dpowell@charlotteobserver.com

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