Not Buying It

Posted on: 14 June, 07

Not Buying It by Judith Levine


The author and her husband attempted to go without shopping for one full year.  The plan was to only buy the bare bones minimum, no extras.  They would buy food, but no eating at restaurants or buying prepared foods.  There would be no going to the movies or buying books.  The intent was not about saving money, but saving the planet.  Fascinating concept.  However, I found the author’s whining to be annoying.  She whined about the lack of “culture” in her life if she could only attend “free to the public” events.  She whined about missing all the latest indie films.  Poor baby had to watch the same drivel on television that the rest of us did.  I quickly grew tired of her “how can a New Yorker survive without culture” attitude. Millions of people survive every single day with seeing a single indie film.  Some of them even lead happy, productive lives.

Overall, they did quite well with the project.  The author lapsed a couple times with buying clothes, but still very modest purchases.  Their friends helped them cheat a bit by “treating” them to dinners and movies.  They also owned two homes – an apartment in the city and a summer home in Vermont because they needed to get away from the heat.  Having two homes hardly induced any sympathy from me for this couple.  While not shopping for a year would be tough, I do not think these folks really got a feel for what it is like to “go without.”  Could I do it? Probably not.   I am not a big shopper, but  I do have  certain things that I enjoy…like fabric.

The concept was very intriguing.  Parts of the book were very interesting and made me think.  Other parts, I totally skimmed parts because it dragged on too much.  If you read it, don’t feel obligated to read every page.  It is a concept that I think more people should consider.  We buy too much.  This hurts our wallets and the planet. We could all do quite well with less.



4 Responses to "Not Buying It"

OK, I tried to comment without being political and getting carried away but I just couldn’t seem to do it so I’ll just say thanks for the interesting review!

reply to thesecretpocket: there is so much to be said for the “to shop or not to shop” controversy. and then “where do we shop?” i have gone around and around on the issue. i guess the point is we should *think* when we shop….not just throw things in the cart with no consideration.

i am trying to teach my boys to be careful shoppers on many levels. they are doing well with it. however, we still need to work on keeping some thoughts inside our heads. they have been known to blurt out things like, “$150 for that? that’s just insanity!”

So, one of the things I think about when I spend money is that I’m keeping it flowing. As the money goes out, it makes room for more to come in. Not only that, but I’m paying someone’s wages, so it’s a good thing. Not spending money, and not investing in the economy is not good. It stifles the flow.

My point is I no longer feel guilty about spending money. HAHA.

PS – especially on fabric. LOL

I read this book and I agree, cry me a river! I also skipped over the areas where she started to get really preachy and political. zzzzzzzzz A good premise, but wasn’t what I expected. Glad I didn’t *buy it* and instead borrowed it from the library! 🙂

reply to Peggy: i agree…..i’m glad i didn’t buy it either. thank goodness for the public library!

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