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best slow living books

15 Best Slow Living Books to Live More Mindfully

The best slow-living books to help you live a more mindful and intentional life.

In today’s fast-paced world, where productivity and efficiency are emphasized, it’s easy to forget the importance of slowing down and taking a moment to appreciate the simple things in life. Slow living, which is centered around mindfulness, intentionality, and savoring life’s pleasures, has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. One of the best ways to learn more about the slow-living movement is through books. In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the best slow-living books that will help you live a more intentional and mindful life.

Read on for the 12 best slow-living books to add to your library.

“Zen: The Art of Simple Living” by Shunmyo Masuno

zen the art of simple living by shunyo masuno

Shunmyo Masuno is a Zen monk and garden designer, and in “The Art of Simple Living,” he shares his wisdom on how to live a simple, yet fulfilling life. This book is full of practical tips on simplifying your home, work life, and relationships. It also includes beautiful illustrations and photographs that will inspire you to live a more mindful life. One of the key takeaways from this book is that by simplifying your life, you can create more space and time to focus on the things that truly matter.

Why It’s Unique

This book gives you bite-sized snippets of Zen wisdom which really make you stop and think. Its illustrations have a beautiful simplicity with very easy-to-implement slow-living concepts. What truly makes this book unique is that it focuses on small changes that require little (if any) effort, but rather, a shift in perception and how you view the world around you.

“Slow” by Brooke McAlary

slow by brook McAlary

In “Slow,” Brooke McAlary shares her personal journey towards a slower, more intentional life. This book is full of practical tips on how to slow down and savor life’s simple pleasures, from taking a digital detox to embracing slow cooking. McAlary emphasizes that by slowing down and focusing on the present moment, we can live a more mindful and fulfilling life.

Why It’s Unique

Full of essential life wisdom on what truly matters, this book is not just insightful, it’s worth revisiting when life gets stressful as it helps readers examine their lives and make impactful, sustainable changes in their lives. What sets this book apart is McAlary’s relatable and conversational tone which will make you feel as if you are catching up with an old friend.

“Hello, Habits” by Fumio Sasaki

hello, habits by fumio sasaki

Hello, Habits by Fumio Sasaki is a book that explains how to develop new habits and eliminate negative ones in order to achieve a more fulfilling life. The author draws on scientific theories about habit formation from fields such as cognitive psychology and neuroscience, as well as his own experiences and popular culture, to provide a practical guide to habit-building. Sasaki challenges common misconceptions about willpower and talent and offers a step-by-step approach to developing good habits. The book is aimed at ordinary people who want to improve themselves and achieve meaningful change in their lives.

Why It’s Unique

This is an easy read on what builds habits with relatable personal stories. Fumio Sasaki highlights his own experiences and supports each step with scientific research. Overall, those who have read and enjoyed “Goodbye, Things” will appreciate Sasaki’s voice and anecdotes.

“The Joy of Missing Out” by Tanya Dalton

the joy of missing out by tanya dalton

In “The Joy of Missing Out,” Tanya Dalton encourages readers to let go of the pressure to do it all and embrace the power of saying no. The book is full of actionable tips and exercises that will help you prioritize what’s truly important and let go of the rest. Dalton emphasizes that by focusing on what brings us joy and fulfillment, we can live a more intentional and meaningful life.

Why It’s Unique

This book is a refreshing move away from one-size-fits-all, productivity systems that can be rigid and stressful. The Joy of Missing Out places your unique life circumstances and what is truly important to you at the center of your productivity system, so you can find the approach that works for you. This book also offers so much value added in the free downloadable JOMO Discussion Guide and companion email series to accompany you through each chapter of the book with carefully curated resources including podcasts, videos, and worksheets created by Dalton for additional opportunities to dig deep.

“The Book of Hygge” by Louisa Thomsen Brits

the book of hygge by louisa thomsen brits

Hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) is a Danish concept that is all about creating a cozy and comfortable atmosphere and enjoying the simple pleasures of life. In “The Book of Hygge,” Louisa Thomsen Brits explores this concept in depth, providing readers with practical tips on how to create a hygge atmosphere in their own homes. This book is full of beautiful photographs and illustrations, and it’s a great resource for anyone looking to add more warmth and coziness to their life.

Why It’s Unique

This is a delightful little book, which manages to evoke hygge simply in the reading of it. Unlike some other hygge books that read like instruction manuals for creating hygge, this book emphasizes the aspect of simplicity in the hygge in everyday experiences. Overall, this book touches on hygge at a high level, making it a great introduction to the hygge lifestyle.

“The Slow Fix” by Carl Honoré

the slow fix by carl honore

Carl Honoré is a proponent of the slow living movement, and in “The Slow Fix,” he explores how taking a more deliberate and thoughtful approach to problem-solving can lead to more meaningful and lasting solutions. This book is full of examples of people who have taken the slow-fix approach in their own lives and businesses, and it’s a great read for anyone looking to embrace a more intentional and mindful approach to problem-solving.

Why It’s Unique

This book provides many relatable and practical examples of people embracing a slow-living approach for a more fulfilled and successful life. This book has ultimately created a sense of community around the slow-living movement. We highly recommend anything from this author.

“Minimal: For Simple and Sustainable Living” by Stéphanie Mandréa 

minimal: for simple and sustainable living by stephanie mandrea

“Minimal” is a book that offers readers practical guidance and inspiration on how to live a simpler and more sustainable life. The author provides tips and tools for simplifying one’s home and living space, including ideas for decluttering and decorating. The book also includes easy-to-follow recipes for making homemade cosmetics and cleaning products, as well as advice on shopping sustainably and reducing waste through composting. Mandréa encourages readers to restore old furniture and embrace a more conscious and thoughtful approach to consumption. Through these small but impactful changes, “Minimal” empowers readers to create lasting and meaningful change in their lives while also being kind to the planet.

Why It’s Unique

This book is an essential guide to slow living with a focus on living a more sustainable life. It’s full of simple things we can do to improve peace of mind while also doing better for the environment. With its approachable tone and relatable anecdotes, it’s easy to feel a deep connection with the author.

“The Art of Stillness” by Pico Iyer

the art of still ness by pico iyer

In “The Art of Stillness,” Pico Iyer explores the importance of taking a step back and finding stillness in our busy lives. This book is full of personal anecdotes and stories from Iyer’s travels around the world, and it’s a great reminder of the importance of taking time to reflect and recharge. Iyer emphasizes that by finding stillness, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

Why It’s Unique

Pico Iyer is a travel writer, and a regular contributor to the New York Times, Harpers, Time, and other magazines with a lifestyle determined by deadlines and the rigors of traveling for work so he brings a unique perspective to the concepts of slow living. This is the perfect read to enjoy on vacation when you can press pause on your busy lifestyle and reflect.

“The Little Book of Lykke” by Meik Wiking

the little book of lykke by meik wiking

Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, and in “The Little Book of Lykke,” he explores the concept of lykke (pronounced “loo-ka”), which is the Danish word for happiness. This book is full of practical tips and insights from the happiest people in the world, and it’s a great resource for anyone looking to cultivate more joy and happiness in their own life.

Why It’s Unique

A practical guide, this book offers simple tips and suggestions to make realistic changes based on research and stats surrounding what brings happiness into our lives. If you are interested in exploring the concept of lykke, this book is a great introduction.

“Essentialism” by Greg McKeown

essentialism by greg mckeown, best slow living books

In “Essentialism,” Greg McKeown argues that by focusing on what’s truly essential in our lives, we can create more meaning and purpose. This book is full of practical tips on how to identify what’s truly important, say no to distractions, and make the most of our time and resources. McKeown emphasizes that by saying no to non-essential things, we can say yes to the things that truly matter.

Why It’s Unique

This book offers a unique perspective on how to take control of your life and reduce stress. If you are looking for simple and practical tips for exploring minimalism and focusing on the essentials of life, this book is the perfect guide.

An Intentional Life: A Guide to Slower and More Peaceful Existence by Kathryn Bardsley

an intentional life: a guide to slower and more peaceful existence by kathryn bardsley, bests slow living books

This slow-living book is about how to live a more intentional and fulfilling life by breaking free from the autopilot mode that we often find ourselves in. The author encourages readers to take a step back and be more intentional about the decisions they make each day, rather than just going through the motions. In a world that values hustle and bustle, the book is a reminder to slow down and focus on the simple things in life that are often overlooked. It’s a gentle reminder to bring more intention into each day so that life can be enjoyed to the fullest. Whether read cover to cover or dipped into for specific insights, the book offers practical advice to enable readers to live a slower, more intentional life that is ultimately more fulfilling.

Why It’s Unique

This book features thoughtful questions to ponder at the end of each chapter to help set personal and attainable goals. With helpful exercises and practical tips, this is a book worth visiting a few times a year as a gentle reminder to slow down and savor the now.

“In Praise of Slowness” by Carl Honore

in praise of slowness by car honore

Carl Honore is one of the leading voices in the slow living movement, and in “In Praise of Slowness,” he explores the benefits of taking a slower, more deliberate approach to life. This book is full of examples of people who have embraced the slow living movement and found more meaning and fulfillment as a result. Honore argues that by slowing down and savoring life’s simple pleasures, we can live a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

Why It’s Unique

This book takes a slightly different approach to examining the principles of slow living by exploring our cultural obsession with speed and “saving time” and the possible underlying causes. The important distinction this book makes is that you can have a slow-living mindset and still be productive. Honore defines Slow as calm, careful, receptive, still, intuitive, unhurried, patient, reflective, and quality-over-quantity. It is making real and meaningful connections — with people, culture, work, food, and beyond.

“Destination Simple” by Brooke McAlary

destination simple by brooke mcalary, best slow living books

In “Destination Simple,” Brooke McAlary offers readers practical advice on how to simplify their lives and focus on what truly matters. This book is full of tips on how to declutter your home, manage your time, and find joy in the simple things in life. McAlary emphasizes that by slowing down and simplifying our lives, we can create more space and time for the things that truly matter.

Why It’s Unique

This short read presents clear ideas about how to incorporate simplicity and harmony into your life. The book presents its own set of terminology and guidelines for creating rituals, creating what the author calls “rhythms”, and exploring what it means to “tilt” toward what you need right now in life.

“Soulful Simplicity” by Courtney Carver

soulful simplicity by courtney carver

In “Soulful Simplicity,” Courtney Carver shares her personal journey toward a simpler, more intentional life after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Stress was a major trigger for her symptoms, and it became clear that she needed to streamline and simplify her life. In this book, Carver shows us how to create more with less—more space, more time, and even more love. Carver invites us to reflect on the meaning of life, discover what’s most important to us, and truly destress our daily lives by getting rid of all the excess things.

Why It’s Unique

This book reads as a vulnerable memoir with a unique authenticity. Through sharing her personal journey, Carver focuses on how we can declutter and simplify our lives from every angle while creating an emotional connection that will last long after the book is finished.

“The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down” by Haemin Sunim

the things you can see only when you slow down by haemin sunim, best slow living books

In “The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down,” Haemin Sunim offers readers a collection of meditations and reflections on mindfulness and the importance of slowing down. This book is full of beautiful illustrations and quotes that will inspire readers to embrace a slower, more intentional approach to life. Sunim emphasizes that by slowing down and being present in the moment, we can find greater peace and happiness in life.

Why It’s Unique

a Buddhist monk born in Korea and educated in the United States, Sunim offers advice on everything from handling setbacks in life to dealing with relationships in a beautiful book with calming full-color illustrations. This book takes a unique approach by speaking directly to the anxieties that have become part of modern life and how slowing down can help ease this stress.

“Chasing Slow” by Erin Loechner

chasing slow by erin loechner, best slow living books

“Chasing Slow” is a memoir by Erin Loechner, a former star and viral sensation, who seemed to have it all before realizing she felt lost. Through various challenges, including her husband’s brain tumor, bankruptcy, family loss, and public criticism, she learns to surrender and finds strength in downsizing her life. Loechner invites readers to turn away from the fast-paced and frenzied lifestyle and find freedom in a new-fashioned lifestyle defined by grace. She encourages readers to realize that life’s answers are not always hidden where they seem and that we have already been given everything we need.

Why It’s Unique

Loechner’s writing style is thought-provoking and encourages one to evaluate choices, thoughts, and the relevance of what we are chasing at any given time in relation to the big picture of life. This book is by no means a step-by-step guide to slow living, but rather, it provides relatable anecdotes that force us to examine our own routines and life goals.

If you enjoy one of our curated selections, support our publication by making a purchase through one of our links as we receive a portion of sales.