Below is a book reveiw that pertains to living within your means and shopping locally.
Small Is Possible
Life in a Local Economy
By Lyle Estill
320 ESTILL (Abbott Library Sunapee, NH)
1- What is the book about ? Essentially what question is the book asking and answering?
2- How does the author attempt to convince/lead you?
3- Entertainment factor?
5- Bonus negatives?
6- Overall Rating (5 Star scale)
* = 20% good 80% waste of time
** = 40% good 60% waste of time
*** = 60% good 40% waste of time
You get it…and ½ * = 10*
Choosing this book only involved scanning the non-fiction shelves at the Abbott Library for something to read. The words Local Economy on the spine of the book got me first, second was the size of the book. At 227 pages this soft cover text looked like an easy read.
Is local self-reliance possible? Lyle Estill says “yes.” According to the author the process however can be cumbersome and may require you to move to Chatham County South Carolina. In addition to pulling up your roots obtainment of this almost utopian society of self-sustainment involves family money, immersing yourself with like-minded people, endless talent and skill or the means to hire a lot of people with endless talent and skill. Oh, and you need to be a likable, smooth talker with a plentiful knowledge of civics. With this checklist in hand you are now ready to become self-sustaining.
OR…. You can take only what you need from this book, which is what I did. Lyle touches briefly on economic re-development, feeding, housing, fueling, financing, educating, healing, entertaining, and governing OURSELVES.
Lyle begins the story with personal information about life in his town. He quickly winds you through the curvy roads of his life to bring you to his present day in a local economy. Chatham County has a number of co-ops, and a lot of arts and culture. The towns are sparsely dotted with general stores, mom and pop shops, antique stores and the like with a majority owned by a local person that the author has some tellable tale of friendship with. The main local industry he tells about is biodiesel, because Lyle is The Lyle Estill, Biodiesel Guru.
Lyle was born and raised in Canada and has located himself in South Carolina. He has family money to back him up at every turn, he buys every “little” or “up and coming” local business he comes in contact with. From a internet company to a hydroponics greenhouse Lyle buys all or in-on many local companies and houses them in one grand location near his home. Employees are local and or relocated to town. There is ping pong, volleyball, a garden and fresh air at the work place. Workday leisure is important and napping IS allowed. Lyle takes the reader over a cliff as far as what we think of as a “normal workplace“ and he spends little time convincing us that it works. The proof is apparent in the entirety of the book. He carries the reader briefly through his own thoughts with somewhat of an attention deficit disorder type process. Not entirely bad just a bit of jumping around and a boat load of name dropping that in order to remember who is who requires some note taking from the reader.
The book is entertaining in parts. Lyle has a good sense of humor and inserts laughs in appropriate places with an odd randomness that qualifies as ADD. Classify this book as an informational book? No, I would disagree. Inspirational would be a better word. Inspirational as long as you are not easily discouraged. Not all of us have family money, can up and move, are business minded …and so on…Want to try to change your local economy where you are? This is not really a book to walk you through that process either. The only valuable tid-bit Lyle offers is to encourage people to learn Civics. When people understand local government that is when they become involved in local government, agreed.
I left the finished book with a little bit of readers remorse-and wanting a bit more from the author. I know Lyle holds more of the formula to self- sustaining and local economy than he has shared in this book. Overall I enjoyed the reading as a source of hope and entertainment. In all fairness he has written other books and I will check out his books before I hound him on Facebook.
Casual Reader Rating *** 3 stars. I do like this book, I am glad I read it and I feel I have taken away information that is valuable to my life. 1-2-3-stars. Why not 5 stars, well the fact that in his book Lyle offers some of his services pertaining to his local businesses for free and soon finds himself valuable and making a fair profit in the end is not surprising (under practiced in my world). He just doesn’t expand enough on how the average Jane-or Joe- can put his method of work-for-free, get people involved, become valuable, make people want to pay, then charge a reasonable price -into practice to obtain the general message of his writing which is becoming self-sustaining in a local economy. Lyle needed to offer me more facts and how-to information, he obviously has that knowledge why not share it. By the way Lyle drives a convertible Mercedes and yes it runs on biodeisel but my question, how much of his purchase money stayed local?