Book Chat’s Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆/5

Couple of months ago, a member of my online book group posted images of his empty house and wrote a review about the book Goodbye Things by Fumio Sasaki. I don’t know how that book has changed his life, but it has certainly changed mine. This book certainly has become one of my most read books. Since then, I probably have re-read it dozen of times. I listen to it all the way to work and sometimes during my free time, when I’m not busy cleaning up my clutter and minimizing. Since then, I have also read other books about minimalism, but my conclusion is that this one is simply the best. There is something very genuine from the tone of the book.

I won’t go much into details about the summary, it’s right below here as I copied from Goodreads. In the book, Sasaki described his minimalism journey, and provide tips of how to get there. Some other readings that may be complimentary to this book (which I will review at a later time): The Art of Discarding by Nagisa Tatsumi, and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I just want to point out a few things I love about this book:

  • Sasaki described minimalism at individual level, and set no standard for anyone. I like the idea that minimalism is simply enough for you, whatever your definition may be.
  • He clearly a Steve Jobs and Lionel Messi fan. Even though I do not like (nor dislike) these people, I like how he described the benefits of minimalism in how Jobs and Messi work. Well, really though, I’m not a fan of Apple product (due to many of their business ethical issue), but I have to admit he’s right about the minimalist style in Apple product.
  • I also like the extreme minimalism that he was heading toward. I thought that was inspiring and what a sense of freedom it gives you. I recall the day I first came to the US with only two suit cases, now I’m in a big house with shelves of books, half of them unread. The part where he described about books hits home for me. I really need to re-think my reading. I love books, but certainly could let go more than half of it.
  • I also love all the pictures of his apartment and his minimalist friends’ space. I feel relax just looking at those empty spaces.

I feel that I have so much more to talk about how this book has changed me, but I need to go to some cleaning up and minimizing…

Fumio Sasaki is not an enlightened minimalism expert; he’s just a regular guy who was stressed at work, insecure, and constantly comparing himself to others—until one day he decided to change his life by reducing his possessions to the bare minimum. The benefits were instantaneous and absolutely remarkable: without all his “stuff,” Sasaki finally felt true freedom, peace of mind, and appreciation for the present moment.

Goodbye, Things explores why we measure our worth by the things we own and how the new minimalist movement will not only transform your space but truly enrich your life. Along the way, Sasaki modestly shares his personal minimalist experience, offering tips on the minimizing process and revealing the profound ways he has changed since he got rid of everything he didn’t need. The benefits of a minimalist life can be realized by anyone, and Sasaki’s humble vision of true happiness will open your eyes to minimalism’s potential.

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 11th 2017 by W. W. Norton Company (first published June 12th 2015)
Translated by Eriko Sugita