Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Book Review: Not Buying It

I checked out Not Buying It from the library last week, eager to read a book about someone who gives up shopping for non-necessities for a year. The book is by Judith Levine, and I will say that I admire her commitment to the project. She gives up Q-tips, new socks, and eating out. She only really breaks once, except for while traveling for a family obligation. She muses on consumerism and brings up some interesting points about the Voluntary Simplicity movement.

But, I found myself wanting to like this book more than I did. I wanted it to be better. I think part of the problem for me is that I don't relate to Ms. Levine. She's an east-coast woman in her 50's who never really shopped a whole lot to begin with. I felt like I would have enjoyed the book more if she had been a bigger shopper to begin with and then gave it up.

Also, she talks a lot about her political views. She's very anti-Bush and talks a lot about the election of 2004, because that's the year the book chronicles. I am no fan of Bush and am pretty liberal, but I felt like it was out of place. The book is about not buying things, not about how much you hate George Bush. I had read reviews along these lines, but thought it wouldn't bother me. But it did. Write a separate book about that if you want to, but let's focus on one thing at a time here, okay?

As someone who gave up clothes shopping for a year, I did relate to her thoughts on the lasting effects of the project. She says she "thinks thrice" before plunking down the debit card or handing over the cash for something. I totally agree. This is the first month I was able to go clothes shopping, and I certainly did. I got many items that I love, and I had a blast shopping. BUT, I only bought things I really like and spent $233, more than I plan to spend in other months. And while it is appealing to buy new clothes, I am also more hesitant to buy. I know I can go without it, I know I have a lot of clothes already, and I know the effects of not sticking to a budget. So, like Ms. Levine, I am thankful for my time spent Not Buying It. I'm not as thankful for the time I spent reading her book though.

1 comment:

  1. Very honest review, weird she threw in the part about her political views. I'm sure you learned a lot by doing your own Not Buying It.