BOOKS were our original source inspiration when searching for a simpler way of life. Now they form one of the cornerstones of what we do each day, as in publishing our own, based on our experiences. The earliest editions, covering our time in the UK, are available as a downloadable pdf (for free) on the life before spain page. The most recent are here, some as original paper copies, the rest as free downloads. We do not believe anyone should profit from information, so the only charge made for the paper copies is to cover postage.
TREAD SOFTLY BECAUSE YOU TREAD ON MY DREAMS
by Maureen Rooksby
The story of our nine year journey to find El Pocito. Impossible to put down once you’ve started. Click here to download a copy in pdf format.
by Lloyd Kahn
This is the book that got me started on the alternative path. I came across it by accident (or because it was so huge) in COMPENDIUM BOOKS, Camden Town, in the days when real shops still existed. Not all owned as they are now by corporate business. It was so radical and full of stuff I am still amazed there are bits I have yet to read/ see. If you can get a copy it is totally must, to remind you of what life and saving the planet is all about, you won’t be disappointed.
by Lloyd Kahn
My favourite so far in the Shelter series on alternative house building. Packed full of inspiring homes, I never tire of dipping into it. Essential reading.
by Lloyd Kahn
The latest in the Shelter series on alternative house building. Up to the usual high standard, with examples of small owner-built homes from all around the world (including the UK). Essential reading.
BUILDING A LOW IMPACT ROUNDHOUSE
by Tony Wrench
Even if you thought you could never build your own home you have to read this, simply to get a proper sense of perspective on what is really necessary, and at the same time learn what your responsibility is for existing on the planet. I loved it, and the humour is brilliant. We need everyone to act more like Tony and his partner Faith. ISBN 978-1-85623-174-9.
THE MAN WHO QUIT MONEY
by Mark Sundeen
When I was a teenager ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE was the book that changed lives. This is for the next generation. And I can’t recommend it higher. Daniel Suelo quit using money in 2000 (the same year we left the UK) and hasn’t felt the need to change that decision. Making fools out of the rest of us who claim to be living lightly. It is the most life-changing book I have ever read. ISBN 978-1-59448-569-5.
by Phil Rooksby
For those who prefer their information in hard copy (us included) here are some of the site’s pages from 2012, ready to print and make into an A6 booklet (106 pages). Click here to download the pdf file.
by Maureen Rooksby
This is aimed at all levels of knitters (from beginner upwards), and features some of the toys from our catalogue. Sadly there are no physical copies left but a screen version is available, to download (click here), or I can arrange a print quality download if you get in touch.
by Phil Rooksby
Like A SIMPLER LIVING but précised into a leaflet form to give away. Click here to download the printable pdf.
by Phil Rooksby
This hard copy book describes our life in North Yorkshire, how we learnt to become self-sufficient. Packed with practical information and illustrated. Postage cost £7.
by William Cobbett
Published in 1821, this is as apt now as a primer for self-sufficiency as it was then.
BROTHER TO THE OX
by Fred Kitchen
Absolutely incredible account of sustainable life in the early 20th Century. Showing exactly how little we actually need to live well.
BACK TO THE FOREST
by Winifred Foley
Family leave London during the Second World War to live a simpler life. Inspiring.
by Ferenc Máté
This is the book I’ve been trying to write for the past 25 years. So good I read it from cover to cover in half a day. Ever thought life was passing you by? Here are all the reasons you’ll ever need to prove it and start anew. The simpler, healthier, and more rewarding way. ISBN 0-920256-36-8.
by Shirley-Anne Hardy
Long-awaited sequel to BIRTHRIGHT IN LAND, BY WILLIAM OGILVIE…AND THE STATE OF SCOTLAND TODAY (1999/ Peregrine Press/ ISBN 0-9535426-0-2/ around £11.95). Both available through inter-library loans, or from any high-street bookshop ((Peregrine Press/ ISBN 978-0-9535426-1-1/ £7.95).
by Tom Bryan
a friend sent me a copy of this modern-day thriller, combining the mystery of when the last wolf was killed in Scotland and the continuing struggle to return the land back to those who were forced off it in the clearances. Has become one of my favourites. You can get a copy direct from the author by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Ronald Wright
If you live anywhere south of York in the UK, or a follower of Rob Hopkins and the Transition Town Movement, you all need to read this novel right away (secondhand copies abound on the internet). This is the definitive answer to what awaits those in the next decade or so. It is also the ultimate eco-thriller for anyone else, and I guarantee will have you hooked from the start right through to the last page. Scottish readers shouldn’t miss it either, much of the story is set there. Another Sheri S Tepper, and should be made set-book in UK schools. ISBN 1-86230-011-9. The natural sequel to his non-fiction A SHORT HISTORY OF PROGRESS (ISBN 0-88784-706-4).
by Herman Melville
A must for anyone interested in self-sufficiency, a true classic of the genre. Written over 150 years ago, yet it reads like it is today. I guarantee this will change your life. Inspired A SCIENTIFIC ROMANCE.
by Dan Price
Recommended reading for anyone interested in a simpler life. (ISBN 1-58008-171-1). Packed full of inspiration. Available from bookshops.
by Dan Price
Is the sequel, and even better. (0-7624-2492-3)
by Barton Sutter
BOOKSHOPS WORTH VISITING
56 Crampton Street, LONDON SE17
The Bakewell Bookshop
Matlock Street, BAKEWELL, Derbyshire DE45 1EE
Bookshop, 4 Allen Road, Abington, NORTHAMPTON NN1 4NE
Bookshop, 8 Angel Lane, PENRITH, Cumbria CA11
Market Street, HEBDEN BRIDGE, West Yorkshire HX7 6EU
1 Bloomsbury Street, LONDON WC1B 3QE
50 Westow Street, Crow-on-the-hill, Crystal Palace, LONDON SE19 3AF
48 Market Street, ULVERSTON, Cumbria CA12 7LS
Broken Arrow Bookshop & cafe
13 Leigham Hall Parade, Streatham High Road, LONDON SW16 1DR
23 Western Road, BRIGHTON BN3 1AF
2-4 High Street, GLASTONBURY, Somerset BA6 9DU
12 London Road, BRIGHTON BN1 4JA
Avenida de Hercules, 77, SEVILLA
Freedom Book Company
73 Fawcett Road, Southsea, Hants PO4 0DB
84b Whitechapel High St, LONDON E1 7QX
73 Humberstone Gate, LEICESTER LE1 1WB
Calle Conde Torrejon, 14, SEVILLA
Calle Regina, 8, 41003 – SEVILLA
El Gusanito Lector
Calle Feria,110, SEVILLA
9 The Broadway, Mill Road, CAMBRIDGE CB1 3AH
745-747 Barking Road, LONDON E13 9ER
96 Bold Street, LIVERPOOL L1 4HY
243 Portswood Road, SOUTHAMPTON SO17 2NG
The Owl Bookshop
209 Kentish Town Road, LONDON NW5 2JU
The People’s Bookshop
3rd floor, the attic, Saddlers Yard, 70 Saddler Street, DURHAM DH1
59 Lamb’s Conduit Street, Holborn, LONDON WC1N 3NB
128 Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, LEEDS LS7 4NZ
Reading International Solidarity Centre
35-39 London Street, READING RG1 4PS
131 Bellenden Road, Peckham, LONDON SE15 4QY
Mill Street, ABERFELDY, Perthshire PH15 2BG
43 West Nicholson Street, EDINBURGH EH8 9DB
93-97 Albion Street, LEEDS LS1 5JS
39-41 Notting Hill Gate, LONDON W11 3JQ
17-19 Castle Street, NORWICH NR2 1PB
7 Princes Street, ABERYSTWYTH SY23 1DX
OTHER BOOKSHOPS OF INTEREST
WHERE TO BUY BOOKS
It goes against everything we believe in to pay full price for books, or anything, it’s a key tenet of living sustainably (the world needs far less businesses, not more, especially the kind that makes money out of doing nothing more than be an intermediary). Luckily there are plenty who share our values, and pass on stuff. But when it comes to finding something specific, then it can be rather tough, especially with books. Having boycotted Amazon.co.uk it seemed like they had wiped out everyone else. Abe books seemed like a promising successor though, until I realised it was yet another arm of Amazon. Then I came across Ethical Consumer, and their list of second hand booksellers. Sadly not one proved to be either cheap or comprehensive. All was not lost though, Awesome Books finally popped up in one of my searches. Buy more than one book from them and postage is free. The range is just like they say, awesome, as are the prices. Delivery is very sluggish (2-3 weeks) however, and so far the condition of the books has not lived up to description, but for now they will do. If you know of a similar/ better company please let us know. And just in case you have any of the following, gathering dust, here’s a few titles from our current wish list:
anything by – Sheri S Tepper/ Carol Goodman/ and Lev Grossman
Robert MacFarlane et al – HOLLOWAY
Anthony Woodward – THE GARDEN IN THE CLOUDS
Laini Taylor – FAERIES OF DREAM DARK
Rachel Joyce – THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY
Karl Ove Knausgard – trilogy MY STRUGGLE
the Prashad Vegetarian Cookbook
Issac Marion – WARM BODIES
And finally, we recommend the following for your personal library:
The Water of Life J W Armstrong (urine therapy)
Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine Thomas Bartram
Plants for a Future Ken Fern
Living Water Olaf Alexandersson (real water)
Shelter Lloyd Kahn, and the sequel Home Work
The RHS new Encyclopedia of Herbs and their uses Deni Bown
Water & Salt – Your Healers from Within Dr F Batmanghelidj
The Complete Homeopathy Handbook Miranda Castro
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Andrew Chevalier