The Minimalist’s Bookshelf: 10 Books I’ll Never Part With

Minimalist Joshua Becker, author of The More of Less, draws the line at giving away these books.

minimalist

Eight years ago, I became a minimalist after growing tired of all the time and money and energy that went into taking care of the stuff that I owned. While the world around me continued to buy more and more things, I began to own less and less.

I reduced the number of things in every area of my life: clothes, furniture, televisions, decorations, kitchenware. Even books.

Parting with my books wasn’t easy, and it took time. But over the course of several months, I downsized my book collection from four bookshelves to one. I considered each of the books on my shelf and determined to save “only the best.”

Here are ten of the books I decided to keep—books that have had such a profound influence on me that I couldn’t imagine life without them.

Get recommendations for the greatest books around straight to your inbox every week.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

cvr9781439167342_9781439167342_hr

The leadership principles in this book continue to be both the simplest and the most important: be kind, smile, and ask questions.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

9780804137386

As somebody pursuing a simpler life focused on things that matter, Essentialism is a book that is simultaneously informative, inspirational, and practical.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

y648

Considering I do the same, books that challenge conventional, American notions of happiness are well-appreciated by this writer. Among the books written in this present generation, The Happiness Project is one of the best.

More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity by Jeff Shinabarger

41e4yp8nD3L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

In this lesser-known book, Jeff calls us to challenge our presumptions about how much we need for a joyful life—and invites us to practice generosity with our excess.

Introduction to the Devout Life by Francis De Sales

9780375725623

Spiritual readings and meditations have always been important to me as they keep me focused on higher pursuits than the physical world around me. This book is one I return to often.

Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life by Steve Martin

cvr9781416553656_9781416553656_lg

I love biographies and autobiographies. They challenge and inspire me. The list of good ones is quite lengthy—but the one I consistently recommend to others is Born Standing Up.

Money, Possessions, and Eternity by Randy Alcorn

978-0-8423-5360-1

Depending on specific spiritual preferences, this book resonates with some and turns off others (it is unapologetic in its use of the Bible as prooftext). But for me, no other book has provided such a counter-cultural perspective on money.

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

9780375403170

This novel, in my opinion, is still the greatest story on grace and redemption ever written.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

7b4878072402cb0607a6527fcdf6e4fb

I enjoy Salinger’s story, but beyond that, this work represents the first time I ever critically analyzed literature in a classroom setting. Even 25 years later, I recall those days fondly.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

y648-1

As with so many other young readers, To Kill a Mockingbird was the first to challenge my assumptions about the nature of humanity and how we create divisions among ourselves.

I found a simple joy in minimizing my book collection. For one thing, it provided opportunity to spread the joy and share some of my favorites with friends and family. But these ten listed above? I’m keeping.

What books can you not bear to part with?


Featured image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

JOSHUA BECKER is the founder and editor of Becoming Minimalist, a website that inspires millions around the world to own fewer possessions and find greater fulfillment in life. As one of the leading voices in the modern simplicity movement, Joshua speaks both nationwide and internationally. He has contributed to articles in Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Christianity Today. He is a frequent guest on HuffPost Live and has appeared on numerous television programs, including the CBS Evening News. He and his young family live in Peoria, Arizona.

About Joshua Becker

JOSHUA BECKER is the founder and editor of Becoming Minimalist, a website that inspires millions around the world to own fewer possessions and find greater fulfillment in life. As one of the leading voices in the modern simplicity movement, Joshua speaks both nationwide and internationally. He has contributed to articles in Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Christianity Today. He is a frequent guest on HuffPost Live and has appeared on numerous television programs, including the CBS Evening News. He and his young family live in Peoria, Arizona.

[email_signup id="4"]
[email_signup id="4"]