Reading progress

Finished this week:

It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh. Peter Walsh is one of the people in the series Clean Sweep, and in this book, talks about why to declutter, then how. I skimmed the book to get a sense of his philosophy and structure and found it full of great tips, so I’ll be reading it again and taking some notes. Some things that I happen to remember from skimming it this time:

  • Limit your stuff to your space. If you have a bookshelf that holds DVDs, only keep as many DVDs as will fit on the bookshelf. Be ruthless – if you get a new DVD, throw an existing one out. Same with your closet, cabinets, pantries, etc.
  • Getting more storage containers/shelves/etc., while a typical reaction, is not necessarily the best solution.
  • Have a family meeting to define the purpose(s) of each room. Then, ruthlessly remove anything that doesn’t meet with those purposes. Example — the master bedroom is a romantic retreat for the parents, not a kid’s playroom. So, take out all toys that have somehow ended up in the master bedroom.
  • If a room has multiple purposes, create “zones” in that room for each purpose, and contain the stuff related to the purpose in that zone. For example — let’s say your family decides that family room’s main purpose is to provide a space for kids to play and adults to relax/read/watch TV. A secondary purpose is to act as space for someone to scrapbook. Scrapbooking stuff should be contained to a table/shelf, leaving the rest of the room available for the main purpose — hang out and play.
  • Purge a little bit every day.

I found this very good reading as we start to prepare for moving and begin purging some stuff.

Transcending CSS by Andy Clarke. Very eye-opening and inspiring. I wouldn’t recommend this book for anyone who wants to start out learning CSS because it’s not a primer, but I would definitely recommend it for any web designer/developer who wants to do CSS “right” and explore the possibilities. Some great information about CSS3 is in the last section, with actual examples of the new modules in use (including multiple background images and columns). The bulk of the book is about tying in CSS with truly semantic markup, and provides great examples of how to minimize your markup and decide which elements provide the most meaning. The book also emphasizes the creativity that can be expressed using CSS and demonstrates some great, basic design principles as well, such as designing with a grid. Plus, the book is just plain pretty! I learned a lot from this book and will start applying some of the things I’ve learned!

With a bookmark:

(Books I just started reading, or books I’ve been “reading” for ages. Most recent first.)

  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (not technically from the library — culled from a friend’s book giveaway pile)
  • The Wild Out Your Window by Sy Montomery
  • The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
  • Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
  • A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson

Library book box:

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

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