Not buying it

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping

While I did buy something this week, I didn’t have time to take any pictures before leaving for San Diego.  So instead, I thought I’d review a book that I read a few months ago, that relates to my shopping ban.

The author, Judith Levine, decided to go on a full-on shopping ban for an entire year – not just clothes, but everything that isn’t considered a necessity.  It’s interesting to see what she defines as needs vs. wants (for instance, fancy varieties of rice are considered needs, but q-tips and wine are considered wants).  It’s really interesting to watch her journey, especially since she lives for part of the year in New York City, which is one of the most consumer driven cities in the world.

Without spoiling too much, I also found it interesting that the two times she broke down and broke her ban, she bought clothes.  She doesn’t come to the book from a fashion perspective per se, but she makes some keen observations about feeling like all the current styles are passing her by, with her unable to participate in them.

Her ban is far more extreme than anything I will probably ever do.  But I love thinking and learning about society and how it ticks (my Bachelors was in Sociology) so this book really appeals to me.  Plus, it lets you discover what the experience of not shopping for a year is like, without the pain and withdrawal of actually doing it.  I highly recommend this book for anyone curious at taking a closer, personal look at consumerism and it’s effect in America.

(I’ll catch you up on what I bought in my regular shopping ban post next week.)

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