To me, slow living isn’t about actually being “slow” but rather being intentional. Choosing to fill your life up with things that are meant for you and to let go of those that are not. It’s about being in alignment with your truest, most authentic self.
As a self-proclaimed bookworm, whenever I discover a new way of thinking, I must do research. I love research and I love learning as much about something as I can. It gives me a high to go to the bookstore and hunt down the pages of knowledge and information I can find on a given topic (#booknerd). So, when I discovered the world of slow & sustainable living, I delved into as much reading as I could on the topic. It gave me an overview and allowed me to connect with certain aspects I wholeheartedly believed in while also making my own definitions for how to live my life. Slow living simply means living in tune with what’s best for YOU as an individual. If you feel like this idea connects with you, then I suggest you do some research of your own. To help kickstart your journey, I’ve provided a list below of the books that introduced me and/or others into slow living, and I hope they can inspire you to reclaim a bit of yourself you might have forgotten.
So, make a cup of tea and run a great bath. It’s time for some self-care and slow living reads!
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn a small commission from some of the links below.
This is truly the first book that brought me into the world of slower living. Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is the “Danish secret to happy living” and it lies in the philosophy of comfort, togetherness, and well-being.
“Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience,” Author Meik Wiking explains. “It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe.”
Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on a sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing comfort food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table. It is the warmth of morning light shining just right on a crisp blue-sky day. The Little Book of Hyggeintroduces you to this cornerstone of Danish life, and offers advice and ideas on incorporating it into your own life. I believe it is a must read for anyone who wants to better understand the idea behind slow living.
Destination Simple is exactly that: finding simplicity in what matters. Author Brooke McAlary shows readers that no matter how busy you are, you too can feel in control of your days; minimize stress; find pockets of peace on even the busiest day; empty your mind and sleep better. It’s about that pocket of people that are choosing to live life not at 110%. They are choosing to slow down, simplify, say no and focus on the things that are truly important.
This book is all about teaching you how to incorporate daily rituals into your days that slowly, and over time, allow you to transform your life. This is definitely a great intro book into slow living as it focuses on super simple tips in an easy to digest way. It’s a short read, so if you’re wanting a lot more information I would recommend one of the books below. But, if you’re short on time and want the information quick, then this is perfect for you.
A useful resource into the world of minimalism and slow living. If you’re already a fan of Erin Boyle’s blog, Reading My Tea Leaves, then this is a great accompaniment to her journey into tiny living spaces, only having what you need, and focusing on a more purposeful lifestyle.
At once pragmatic and philosophical, Simple Matters is a nod to the growing consensus that living simply and purposefully is more sustainable not only for the environment, but for our own happiness and well-being, too. Erin embraces the notion that “living small” is beneficial and accessible to us all—whether we’re renting a tiny apartment or purchasing a three-story house.
Filled with personal essays, projects, and helpful advice on how to be inventive and resourceful in a tight space, Simple Matters shows that living simply is about making do with less and ending up with more: more free time, more time with loved ones, more savings, and more things of beauty.
A words-of-wisdom style book written by Haemin Sunim, a Zen Buddhist teacher, writer and the founder of the School of Broken Hearts in Seoul.
This is a bestselling mindfulness guide that will help you connect the dots between your personal values and lifestyle. By offering guideposts to well-being and happiness in eight areas—including relationships, love, and spirituality—Haemin Sunim emphasizes the importance of forging a deeper connection with others and being compassionate and forgiving toward ourselves. The more than twenty full-color illustrations that accompany his teachings serve as calming visual interludes, encouraging us to notice that when you slow down, the world slows down with you.
A great book for getting you into the mindset of slower, more authentic living. It’s been revered by many and is something you’ll keep close on your bookshelf for years to come.
Hailed as the slow living bible, Kinfolk founder Nathan Williams showcases how embracing the ethos of slowing down, simplifying your life, and cultivating community allows you to create a more considered, beautiful, and intimate living space.
The Kinfolk Home takes you on a journey through 35 homes around the world from the United States, to Scandinavia, Japan, and beyond. What all of these spaces have in common is that they’ve been put together carefully, slowly, and with great intention.
If you’re looking for something to INSPIRE you, then The Kinfolk Home is it. I find flipping through the pages to be cathartic, and always bring me back to the heart of why simple living is so worth it.
Carl Honoré’s novel on “slowness” is a must-read for anyone interested in pursuing a slower lifestyle. What I love about his book is that it’s not about leaving technology behind and embracing a preindustrial utopia, but rather finding the balance which lies in slow living in a modern, technology ridden world.
In Praise Of Slowness discusses our history with a fast-paced style of living and tackles the consequences associated with rushing through life. This book is the first comprehensive look at the worldwide Slow movements making their way into the mainstream — in offices, factories, neighborhoods, kitchens, hospitals, concert halls, bedrooms, gyms, and schools.
Through Carl’s quick-witted prose, we get an inside look at what has led us to searching for a more balanced, and slower, life.
I was hesitant to share this book as it’s Christian-based and I’d prefer to keep my space away from religious views, but from reading and researching it seems that Erin’s journey has really made an impact on so many and is a wonderful resource for simple living without being too religious.
The cool part about the way Erin has written this is that it’s very memoir focused, so you get a deeper insight into her life and what led her to choose a slower, more simple way. Before turning 30, she’d built a fan base of one million women worldwide, became an HGTV.com star, and earned the title “The Nicest Girl Online” as she was praised for her authentic voice and effortless style. The New York Times applauded her, everyone around her admired her, and her husband and baby adored her. But she was unfulfilled. So, she walked away from it all. And through Erin’s journey she discovered what she was missing: life itself. That everything she ever wanted was right in front of her, just off the beaten path instead of exactly where she thought she was looking. A beautiful personal journey to becoming who you are meant to be.
I feel compelled to write about Sara Tasker’s incredible book because not only is it beautifully done, but it is essentially what inspired me to start blogging again. She took away so much of my fear with social media and how it can consume you in all the worst ways. Instead, Sara encourages leaning into your creativity and not following trends so that you can build a brand around the life you want to live.