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Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House Paperback – May 25, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Wabi-sabi is about appreciating the simple and letting go of the superficial – the perfect antidote for a society in recovery from a decades-long consumerist binge. In 2004 The Wabi-Sabi House helped popularize this ancient Japanese philosophy in North America. Simply Imperfect is a fully revised and updated edition of The Wabi-Sabi House, aimed at moving past our belief in life, liberty, and the pursuit of stuff to finding beauty in austerity, serenity and authenticity.

Far more than home décor, wabi-sabi is a state of mind: living modestly in the moment, stripping away the unnecessary, finding satisfaction in everyday things. Simply Imperfect recounts wabi-sabi's rich history, tracing it from its Zen Buddhist roots through to the present day. This beautifully-illustrated book reveals ways to introduce wabi-sabi into your homesuch as:

  • Clearing clutter and blocking noise
  • Integrating salvaged and recycled materials
  • Making and growing things yourself (or supporting local artisans who do)
  • Taking time and space for self-reflection.

Wabi-sabi is everything that today's sleek, plastic, technology-saturated culture isn't. Simply Imperfect asks readers to see that mass-produced perfection is seductive but boring. This gentle book is for anyone who is overwhelmed by consumerism or whose focus hasshifted from getting more to getting by.

About the Author

Robyn Griggs Lawrence is editor in chief of Natural Home magazine (www.NaturalHomeMagazine.com) and a prolific writer and speaker on topics ranging from green building and ecological design to organic gardening. A passionate expert on developing living spaces that are light on the land, Lawrence has been described as “one of the best-informed advocates of natural living in America”. She has been instrumental in introducing the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi to a Western audience.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers; Apparent First Edition edition (May 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865716919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865716919
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I recently learned about this book by reading Robyn Lawrence's online column: Wabi-Sabi Wednesdays in Mother Earth News. I loved the column and bought the book. If you're interested in buying this book, and want to learn more about the content, I recommend you check out her column for some excerpts.

The book starts off with an exploration and discovery of wabi-sabi in existing environments, then it moves into the history and philosophy of the wabi-sabi, the aesthetics, and the cultivation of a wabi-sabi lifestyle. One chapter, about 1/2 way through, is dedicated to reducing clutter and creating space for wabi-sabi. I found this section to be a great reminder that many of us have a difficult time with ideas like wabi-sabi because we have too much to do, we're too distracted, and we live in a cluttered world.

Ironically, I found the layout of the book to distract from the content. The main text is frequently interrupted with anecdotes, images, examples, and lists that often span more than one page and repeatedly disrupt the flow of the chapter. These disruptions become longer and more frequent as you move into the body of the book. Eventually, it feels like the anecdotes are competing with the main text, causing the reader to feel like they are being constantly interrupted by the kid with all the answers.

This is a good DIY book for creative people looking for ideas and inspiration, but not a book I'd recommend for an introspective study of wabi-sabi.
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this book was my introduction to wabi sabi... and it's perfect... easy reading, entertaining, and most of all, informative... i just love this book... i've taken my time to read this to get the most out of it... it's help guide me to a simplier life, and i appreciate that... anyone wanting to know more about this subject, get this book...
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I found this book on the communal "reading while you visit' book shelf at Rancho Margot, Costa Rica and leafed through it - reading some parts - savoring others. I just knew I had to have it: and one for my dad who has always been wabi sabi - and one for my friend Anne - and one for my Tai Chi master brother-in-law. Great book. Just had to have it.
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I have a very good friend that I thought would appreciate this book. Along with it I put together a colage of small addtionals all using the wabi sabi way. She is going to love it - I hope!!
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By lala on December 17, 2011
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Just reading the book brings a calmness about. How wonderful it would be if we could all go back to basics and live simply. I love this book and the way it is presented.
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The meaning of Wabi-Sabi is greatly illustrated in this book. The content is laid out in an easy-to-read fashion, very Zenful, nice intro my new concept of Wabi-Sabi
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She's an interesting and informative writer and her style of quotes and pictures makes the book a delight to read
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Arrived quickly and safely - and in perfect condition. It was a gift, so the quick arrival time was apprecited!
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