Aug 7th, 2010 8:11pm

What Really Matters

But Will It Make You Happy?

A two-bedroom apartment. Two cars. Enough wedding china to serve two dozen people.

Yet Tammy Strobel wasn’t happy. Working as a project manager with an investment management firm in Davis, Calif., and making about $40,000 a year, she was, as she put it, caught in the “work-spend treadmill.”

So one day she stepped off.

Inspired by books and blog entries about living simply, Ms. Strobel and her husband, Logan Smith, both 31, began donating some of their belongings to charity. As the months passed, out went stacks of sweaters, shoes, books, pots and pans, even the television after a trial separation during which it was relegated to a closet. Eventually, they got rid of their cars, too. Emboldened by a Web site that challenges consumers to live with just 100 personal items, Ms. Strobel winnowed down her wardrobe and toiletries to precisely that number.

This ties in neatly with both my interest in wee houses as well as the minimalism (both in size and price) that eBooks offer versus printed books.

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, even Sony, should start marketing eBook readers to those seeking simplicity, savings — and escape.

As usual, the English were ahead of everyone:

Click through to YouTube to see the two other parts.

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