I can trace my love and interest in a simpler way of life back to one fateful episode of Reading Rainbow. On that day they showcased the book “The Oxcart Man” and I was smitten. Fully engrossed in the idea that things were once, and still could be, done by hand – that there was more to life than having most video games or the biggest car. That book fully ingrained in my head that Spring and Summer were for being out side and watching the world grow and that Fall and Winter were for staying indoors and creating, preferably sitting comfortably between a spinning wheel and a crackling fireplace.
I’ve got the fireplace and the promise of a spinning wheel.
Books stay with you longer than you might realize – one day you might crack open an old classic and realize that what you do and how you live started with those exact pages 20 or 30 years ago.
These are a list of personal favorites and high recommended books that have inspired myself and others in the various facets of simple living during childhood. They range from books about colonial and pioneer days to simple lessons about sharing and giving back and everything in between.
Everyone’s Simple Living journey is different – one person might plant a garden and another might buy a CSA. Another might try to do with out as much as possible and her neighbor might stay up long nights in order to choose the best companies and products on which to spend his money. It is as much about becoming aware of how our lives affect others as it is about remembering to sit on the porch and listen to the cicadas at night.
I encourage every parent, educator, aunt, uncle and babysitter who opens a child’s world with these books to be encouraging in the ideas that may creep into their minds. Show them how to make a loaf of bread, knit a scarf, take a walk or ride a bike, visit historical museums or talk to those who may still remember “the good ol’ days”.
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