Oct 4, 2017

Book Review: A book of Simple Living by Ruskin Bond


Just like comfort foods, there are “comfort authors” - those writers whose books you seek out for comfort reading because of the familiarity and simplicity of their writing style. My go-to comfort authors have always been Ruskin Bond and R.K. Narayan. 

I picked up this book “A book of Simple Living" based on a tweet recommendation. One of the best books of Ruskin Bond I have read so far. It is a collection of moments from Ruskin Bond’s life - living in the hills, his study, long walks, interaction with nature - plants, trees, birds and animals, friendship, love etc. There were so many interesting lines and phrases in this book that I ended up highlighting so many of them in my Kindle. Simple prose, beautiful explanation, vivid imagery - these are the factors that keep pulling me back to Ruskin Bond’s books.

One of the ideas that I picked up from this book is this “Book of trivets” - a collection of happy moments and thoughts that one can jot down, and can later refer back to relive those moments again.

Let me share a few of the lines that I really loved (Quoted as in the book, all credits to the author):

“Happiness is as elusive as a butterfly, and we must never pursue it. If we stay very still, it may come and settle on our hand. But only briefly. We must savour those moments, for they will not come our way very often”

“Most of my life I have given of myself, and in return I have received love in abundance.”

“Somewhere in life
There must be someone
To take your hand
And share the torrid day.
Without the touch of love
There is no life, and we must fade away”

“It’s the simple things in life that keep us from going crazy. They contribute more to our general happiness and health than acts of passion and high excitement.”

“Forget and forgive at sunset, and then the day’s deeds are truly done. Then sleep.”

“Live close to nature and your spirit will not be easily broken, for you learn something of patience and resilience. You will not grow restless and you will never feel lonely.”

“Slow down, and listen. There are sounds that are good to hear”

“To be unconcerned about a desired good is probably the only way to possess it”

“Most of living has to happen in the mind”

“There are few comforts greater than the touch of a loving hand when your hopes have been dashed”

“In travel, as in life, give yourself plenty of time, so that you won’t have to rush - you miss seeing the world around you when you are in a great rush”

“To know one’s limitations and to do good work within them: more is achieved that way than by overreaching oneself”

“For most people loneliness is wrongly linked to unhappiness. Their minds are not deep enough to appreciate the sweetness and balm of solitude; they are afraid of life itself, of coming face to face with themselves”

“Fame is like the wind. It blows in all directions, then vanishes without warning”

If you like simple writing that is appreciative of nature and slow life, then you’d love this book. Do pick it up. It is available on Kindle Unlimited.

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