Choosing Simplicity

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 88%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (41) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $2.43   
  • Used (32) from $1.99   


This ground breaking work goes beyond the books that tell you how to simplify your life. This book reveals what has happened in the lives of real people who have done it. Based on the author's three-year study of over 200 people from 40 states and eight countries, Choosing Simplicity is a delightful and rich blend of real-life profiles and guidelines on simplicity. Interwoven throughout the stories are the author's insights and guidance for those who want to explore simplicity and those who have already embarked on this journey. The book also includes a 16-page Resource Guide with reviews of 42 books on simplicity, information on related web sites, organizations, simplicity study circles, workshops, newsletters and magazines.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The popular press has recently held its magnifying glass up to what has been called the "simplicity movement." Pierce, founder of a three-year Simplicity Study that followed the lives of 211 people, takes a closer look with this book about her findings. Difficult to summarize, it is, nonetheless, an intriguing, if occasionally preachifying, treatise on the superior value of living with more integrity than money. For most collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780967206714
  • Publisher: Gallagher Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 350
  • Sales rank: 721,845
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Breen Pierce is the founder of The Pierce Simplicity Study (a three-year study of 200+ people who live simply) and the author of Choosing Simplicity: Real People Finding Peace and Fulfillment in a Complex World (Gallagher Press, 2000) and Simplicity Lessons: A 12-Step Guide to Living Simply (Gallagher Press, 2003). Linda has a website, The Simplicity Resource Guide, which features a broad range of resources on voluntary simplicity.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword by Vicki Robin, co-author of Your Money or Your Life
Chapter 1: Why Simplicity?
Chapter 2: My Story: True Confessions of a Yuppie Lawyer
Chapter 3: Turning Points: What Motivates Us to Start the Journey?
Chapter 4: A Parent's Choice: Savoring Life with Our Children
Chapter 5: Urban or Rural Simplicity: Choosing a Nurturing Milieu
Chapter 6: Work We Can Live With: A Balancing Act
Chapter 7: On the Road to Simplicity: Travelers in Transition
Chapter 8: Long Timers: People Who Have Always Lived Simply
Chapter 9: Starting Out Simply: Generation X Takes a U-Turn
Chapter 10: Having Enough: Living Simply with Financial Freedom
Chapter 11: Living Well on Very Little: Amazing Stories of Courageous People
Chapter 12: Community: Are We Our Brothers' Keepers?
Chapter 13: Environmental Champions: A Passionate Love for the Earth
Chapter 14: The Pierce Simplicity Study: Reflections and Inspiration
Appendix: Text of Simplicity Survey
Resource Guide
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Joe and Cindy Pfender had it made. They owned a beautiful, brand new 2,200-square-foot home set on one-half acre outside of Houston. Their home was located in a lovely neighborhood brimming with Southern hospitality and seven community pools for those hot Texas summers. They were the proud parents of three children-Chelsea, six, Shane, two, and Quinn, the baby in the family.

Joe worked hard to provide this lifestyle for his family. Every morning he left for work at 7:00 A.M. and returned 12 or more hours later. His commute took 45 minutes each way. He spent his evenings reading and responding to over 200 e-mail messages related to his job as a regional sales manager for a major steamship line. Pressure from senior management and customers was constant, but Joe handled it quite well-at least that's how it appeared from the outside. He entertained his customers frequently with drinks and dinners in fine restaurants. Many weekends he was away on business trips. Joe had the feeling that his work week never really began or ended.

Not surprisingly, Cindy began to feel like a single parent. On those frequent evenings when Joe did not make it home for dinner, she hauled the kids off to a fast food restaurant for dinner, a distraction--something of a treat to compensate for their missing father and husband.

One day Chelsea came to her dad with a drawing and proudly announced, "Daddy, look what I did." Joe pointed to each person in the picture and asked Chelsea to tell him about each one. Chelsea responded, "That's Quinn. He's crying. That's Shane. He just hit Quinn. I am reading a book and Mommy is cooking dinner." Chelsea then pointed to the one remaining figure, saying, "That's you, Daddy." "But why is my face all colored in?" Joe asked his daughter. "That's not your face, Daddy, that's the back of your head. You're working on your computer."

Chelsea's drawing was a stunning revelation to Joe. He envisioned his daughter all grown up and remembering her dad as a person who was always working, a person who was not there for her. At that moment, Joe understood what was most important to him. It was not the status and stimulation of his job, his house, the swimming pools, or the health club. It was his wife and his three children. As Joe reflected, "No amount of money or position or home or belongings can replace supporting one another and going through the process of raising our children together."

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2008

    Entertaining, thought provoking & has a strong resource section

    What is simplicity? The author realized her 'successful' life wasn't satisfying and decided to stop focusing on a big income and living large. Along the way, she also surveyed others who have tried similar lifestyle changes. Their stories and hers are blended throughout the book. Her goal is to help readers realize that simplicity is different for each person -- it depends on what resonates with your soul. It can be found anywhere and can vary from extreme simplicity of limiting possessions to what you can transport on a bicycle to small adjustments that make your lifestyle satisfying. She includes a strong resource section which lists books, seminars, newsletters and organizations that encourage simplicity. This is a great starting point for exploring simplicity and I have recommended it to several friends.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2000

    It will make you want to choose simplicity

    I loved reading these peoples' stories, stories of people who learned to get out of the rat race in order to create a life full of family, spirituality, hobbies, more meaningful work, etc. It's a shame the author didn't let the stories tell themselves. I started ignoring the sections she wrote giving her self-important interpretations. I would have liked to see some more practical information on how the people in these stories were able to cut back in order to have the lives they wanted too. There is a good glossary at the back with books and websites on simplicity.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2000

    If you're looking for some sanity in this world, read this

    If you're looking for peace and serenity read this book. Real people finding out that money isn't their god and that you CAN live comfortably leaving the rat race to the rats and living the life you REALLY need for self preservation in this world run amok by greed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)