Robert Owens's Reviews > The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders
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bookshelves: 2019-summer-reading-program, kindle, autobiography, nonfiction, minimalism

I stumbled across this title somewhere . . . probably Reddit. Sounded interesting from my minimalistic POV. Read it as the biography/memoir selection for the 2019 summer reading challenge.

I didn't know Cait Flanders prior to reading this. I feel as I know her fairly well now. This was far less a book of minimalism and far more a book about consumerism, addiction, and maturation. Flanders is in her early 30s now. This book documents her coming of age as a young adult, identifying what is important to her, and her challenge of self-improvement.

While the book commences with a year-long challenge of not purchasing anything save consumables, we learn that she has already successfully battled her alcoholism and weight gain. And she does all this quite publicly on her blog. This book seemed somewhat like cashing in on what she's already detailed on her blog. What it affords someone like me is a neat package to read it without sifting through all of the chaff.

This was an easy read and one that became enjoyable. Cait grew up. So much it seems that she is abstaining from blogging currently. I can realte to her journey. She was a bit more formulaic than I have been, but she arrives in similar destinations. That she is 20 years younger is a testament to her awareness.

She did change her rules in the middle of the challenge. She permitted herself candle-making supplies as well as household cleansing making suppies based on the idea that she would save money in the long run. She stated she didn't purchase the candle supplies. It is unclear to me whether she pursued the household cleaners. I see this rule change as a way of permitting purchases by stating they are for noble causes. It is akin to my impulse purchasing issues (a la ham radio). But she was okay with it: her challenge, her rules.

There were a couple things that resonated with me. This isn't a must-read, but it isn't a bad read.

But there were really only two categories I could see: the stuff I used, and the stuff I wanted the ideal version of myself to use.

Oh, yes. I cn absolutely identify with that.

If you’re wondering why you can’t save money, stop buying stuff you don’t need! And trust me, you probably don’t need anything in here!

Solid advice!

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Reading Progress

August 4, 2019 – Started Reading
August 5, 2019 – Shelved
August 5, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019-summer-reading-program
August 5, 2019 – Shelved as: kindle
August 5, 2019 – Shelved as: autobiography
August 5, 2019 – Shelved as: nonfiction
August 5, 2019 – Shelved as: minimalism
August 5, 2019 – Finished Reading

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