Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism

Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese MinimalismGoodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have seen this book recommended more than any other for minimalism. I am of the feeling there isn’t much more to say on the topic in book form, so I have been reluctant to read this. Neverthless, there I was ordering this the other day. I also listened to the audiobook as I read this on my Kindle.

Of all the books I have read on minimalism, this is probably the best one. I felt as though Saski was quite genuine in his journey.

Having said that, there are some things about this book that are bonkers. A chapter titled “55 tips to help you say goodbye to your things” followed immediately by another titled “12 ways I’ve changed since I said goodbye to my things” is just poor presentation. There’s a reason telephone numbers are seven digits in length. There was a lot presented in those chapters. They read like blog posts.

The way some things were repeated throughout the book made me think this was culled from a blog site.

I also took exception with the presentation of some material. Most minimalistic pontifications suffer from presenting the benefits of going minimalistic to find more time. Then it is described that that more time is filled with whole friend relationships, family, etc. Sasaki referred to “real friends”. Yet, for some of us, that isn’t available. So, there must be another benefit to this.

Also, his description of the present/now being the only concern is tough to swallow. He rejects thinking of the future and states he doesn’t need to. He’ll worry about when it comes.

Yet, he has a flat. Presumably because it’ll be there when it rains in the future. He buys food prior to eating it. Why? Because in the future he’ll need it. I found that whole discussion misguided and unneeded.

Anyhow, most of what is here is enjoyable. Nothing new or earthshattering, but presented well. The gent who read this on the audiobook has a soothing voice. I fell asleep more than once listening to portins of this.

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