Minimalist Books and Blogs

This is not a "I do it right" blog.

Why are most books on the topic of minimalism so content light?

For example, I picked up an interesting paperback titled "Affluenza" by Oliver James. The book has an interesting thesis, I'll give it that. But much of the book's main topics could have been expressed in a book about a sixteenth of the length.

What the book decides to fill itself with instead is endless examples that fulfill the author's specific point that he has made at the beginning of the chapter. They do not better communicate the initial concept. They repeat it. Additionally, the breadth and depth (not to mention the ever so gripping drama of many of them) makes you wonder how many of them actually exist, and why this book decided to defend its points through endless interviews as if it were personally trying to challenge the notion "the plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data'" through sheer determination.

This falls back to Dale Carnegie's old reliable, "How To Make Friends and Influence People," which follows the same formula. And it is continuously replicated. Barry Schwartz wrote "The Paradox of Choice," which manages to spin the two-word phrase "try moderation" into a much larger yet narrower treatise that, in my opinion, would have benefited from more broadness.

Maybe this is why I appreciate Zen Habits whenever I get around to reading Leo Babauta's works. I bought his book and I liked it. It was a book of ideas, not people. Many ideas.

I'm wary of minimalism blogs and books now because it's become commercial (which can be ironic to you, or not). Sometimes you can get helpful things from commercial blogs. But too often the content gets blotted out by the secrets tucked away behind a payment of $19.99, and that gets trotted out just a few too many times before the content starts losing its usefulness.

I do want ideas. I do want to be furthered in my minimalism explorations. But it's getting harder every day.

It's been two years since I started this blog.

Quick EDIT: I remembered another point. Want to figure out which blogs are going to try and sell you things? Install Ghostery. See how many advertisements are watching you. If it's over seven, I close the tab. If it's over ten, I run for my dear life. (Blogspot has one, and it runs the comments.)