Timeless Simplicity came highly recommended, so I feel guilty to say I wasn’t that impressed by it. It’s not so much that there’s anything wrong with the book, but that I’ve been saying similar things for years.
John Lane’s philosophy is straight forward enough- in this supposed age of plenty we’re becoming emotionally impoverished. Money can’t buy you love, or any of the other things that are really important. But as a society we’ve swallowed the lie that we can only be happy if we buy enough stuff, but to buy enough stuff we need to work harder at the sorts of jobs that are contributing to our unhappiness (and damaging family life with unsocial working hours). And around and around the vicious circle goes. Most of my generation have no future but debt.
How do we break out of this cycle? This is where the book falls down for me. Lane’s solution seems to be a withdrawal to some rural idyll away from technology. those of us stuck in the city with our computers are doomed. I guess I was looking for some sort of how-to but what I got was idealistic whimsy.
There could be room for a book on finding simplicity in the modern world. As I strive for it myself I may start to write notes for one. If you already know that Modern Life is Rubbish and want to make The Great Escape (gratuitous Blur affiliate linkage because I can), then this book isn’t really for you. However if you just have an inkling that the daily grind is wearing you down but don’t know why, then read Timeless Simplicity and come back and start hassling me to write my simplicity-with-technology guide.