a simpler life, el pocito, booksa simpler life el pocito booksBOOKS 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.

a simpler life el pocito blog 02


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.

a simple life el pocito books shelterSHELTER

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.

a simpler life el pocito books home workHOME WORK

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.

a simpler life el pocito books tiny homesTINY HOMES

by Lloyd Kahn

The last but one 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.

small homes

SMALL HOMES/ The Right Size

by Lloyd Kahn

The latest, hot off the press in April 2017.  With this time four pages dedicated to El Pocito.


a simpler life el pocito books 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.

a simpler life el pocito books 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.

a simpler life el pocito books a simpler kind of livingA SIMPLER KIND OF LIVING – THE HANDBOOK

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.

a simpler life el pocito books monkey and sofia knitting bookMONKEY & SOFIA KNITTING BOOK

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.

a simpler life el pocito books step by stepSTEP-BY-STEP, HOW TO FEEL A LOT HAPPIER,

by Phil Rooksby

Like A SIMPLER LIVING but précised into a leaflet form to give away. Click here to download the printable pdf.

a simpler life el pocito books my kind of lifeMY KIND OF LIFE

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.

fred kitchen



by Fred Kitchen

Absolutely incredible account of sustainable life in the early 20th Century.  Showing exactly how little we actually need to live well.



by Winifred Foley

Family leave London during the Second World War to live a simpler life. Inspiring.

a simpler life el pocito books a reasonable lifeA REASONABLE LIFE

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.

a simpler life el pocito books shirley-anne hardySTOLEN LAND – STOLEN LIVES, AND THE GREAT CON TRICK OF DEBT!

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).

a simpler life el pocito books wolfclawTHE WOLFCLAW CHRONICLES

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 tbryan@tiscali.co.uk

a simpler life el pocito books a scientific romanceA SCIENTIFIC ROMANCE

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).

a simpler life el pocito books typeeTYPEE

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.

a simpler life el pocito books the moonlight chroniclesTHE MOONLIGHT CHRONICLES

by Dan Price

Recommended reading for anyone interested in a simpler life.  (ISBN 1-58008-171-1).  Packed full of inspiration.  Available from bookshops.

a simpler life el pocito books radical simplicityRADICAL SIMPLICITY – CREATING AN AUTHENTIC LIFE

by Dan Price

Is the sequel, and even better.  (0-7624-2492-3)

a simpler life el pocito books cold comfortCOLD COMFORT

by Barton Sutter

Another classic.


6a Infoshop
56 Crampton Street, LONDON SE17

The Bakewell Bookshop

Matlock Street, BAKEWELL, Derbyshire DE45 1EE

, 4 Allen Road, Abington, NORTHAMPTON NN1 4NE

The Bluebell
, 8 Angel Lane, PENRITH, Cumbria CA11

The Book Case

Market Street, HEBDEN BRIDGE, West Yorkshire HX7 6EU


1 Bloomsbury Street, LONDON WC1B 3QE

The Bookseller Crow

50 Westow Street, Crow-on-the-hill, Crystal Palace, LONDON SE19 3AF

The Bookshop at Tinners Rabbit

48 Market Street, ULVERSTON, Cumbria  CA12 7LS

Broken Arrow Bookshop & cafe

13 Leigham Hall Parade, Streatham High Road, LONDON SW16 1DR

City Books

23 Western Road, BRIGHTON BN3 1AF

Courtyard Books

2-4 High Street, GLASTONBURY, Somerset BA6 9DU

The Cowley Club

12 London Road, BRIGHTON BN1 4JA

La Extra Vagante Libros

Avenida de Hercules, 77, SEVILLA

Freedom Book Company

73 Fawcett Road, Southsea, Hants PO4 0DB

Freedom Press

84b Whitechapel High St, LONDON E1 7QX

Frontline Books

73 Humberstone Gate, LEICESTER LE1 1WB

La Fuga Librerias

Calle Conde Torrejon, 14, SEVILLA

Un Gato en Bicicleta

Calle Regina, 8, 41003 – SEVILLA

El Gusanito Lector

Calle Feria,110, SEVILLA

Housemans Bookshop
5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross, LONDON N1 9DX

Libra Aries Books

9 The Broadway, Mill Road, CAMBRIDGE CB1 3AH

Newham Bookshop

745-747 Barking Road, LONDON E13 9ER

News from Nowhere Bookshop

96 Bold Street, LIVERPOOL L1 4HY

October Books

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

Persephone Books Ltd

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

The Watermill

Mill Street, ABERFELDY, Perthshire PH15 2BG

Word Power Bookshop

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

Ystwyth Books

7 Princes Street, ABERYSTWYTH SY23 1DX


Every thing goes book cafe & neighbourhood stage

stella books

ainsworths (for homeopathy


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




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
(alternative housing)

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

a simpler life, el pocito, solar powered


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