If a book contains the word “Bible” in its title, the author is often claiming a measure of authority over the subject. It’s a little pretentious, and really annoying, when a book comes out called The Car Buyer’s and Leaser’s Negotiating Bible or The Screenwriter’s Bible.
So when a book came out touting itself as “the Bible” of green living, I was a little put off. But when I read more about The Self-Sufficientish Bible, I noticed that this one was different. By adding “ish,” the authors are making the statement that self-sufficiency is not something easily accomplished with a few simple rules.
Andy and Dave, Britain’s green twins, advocate a fun and positive approach to environmentalism, and understand that the thought of adjusting every aspect of our lives is overwhelming and possibly offputting. Hence self-sufficientish. If you don’t have the space or time to be totally self-reliant, but crave creative ideas for recycling, growing organic vegetables and establishing an environmentally friendly home office, this is the book for you.
In this case, the implied authority in the title is playful. This book contains practical ways we can make positive changes in our lives while recognizing our limitations.
Insofar as the Bible (or any religious text) inspires us to achieve ethical perfection, a standard we struggle to even define let alone live up to, but also leaves room for grace when we fall short, the title is entirely appropriate.
The Self-Sufficientish Bible is based on the website selfsufficientish.com.