I recently purchased How to Live Well Without Owning a Car by Chris Balish from betterworldbooks.com. I've been riding my bike to work a lot lately, and I ordered this book to help inspire me and get me on the right track. If you've checked out my blog before, you might know that when I latch onto a new hobby or interest, I like to devour as many books on the subject as possible.
How to Live Well Without Owning a Car was written in 2006 but has a lot of still-current and valid information. I could tell it was written several years ago but all the key info still rings true, if not more true. This book is most beneficial for you if you are contemplating how to transition to a Car-Free lifestyle, or just "Car-Lite" which is what this books calls folks who might be a one car household family, people who car share, or have other alternative car arrangements.
Chris is not advocating that everyone should never use cars. His view seems to be that owning a car (or even two cars) is expensive, both financially and in other ways. The book is laid out in a way that is helpful to guide your journey to car-freeness: several sections in the beginning of the book speak to the true costs of owning a car, the environmentally costs, and one chapter entitled, "Can I Really Live Without a Car?". We also get to hear about Chris's personal car-free journey.The remaining three sections of the book are Getting to Work With out a Car, Non-Work Transportation, and Living Well Without a Car. Each of these in broken down into chapters with real world examples, quotes from now car-free people, and ideas for you to try out. It's very practical, and essentially a step-by-step guide on transitioning to less car use.
If you're hopping on the bike more, riding the bus, or walking and you're wondering if you could make the switch to alternative transportation full-time, I'd recommend that you pick up a copy of this book!