Robin's Reviews > Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping

Not Buying It by Judith Levine
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's review
Jan 19, 10

it was ok
bookshelves: memoirs, non-fiction
Read in January, 2010

Loved the premise - fed up by what she views as out of control consumerism in America, Judith Levine decides to only buy any essentials for one year. Great idea, however, only a so-so book. It didn't seem to me that she really stopped shopping (a New York Times subscription and $90 haircuts are essentials?) she just stopped eating out, buying new clothes and going to movies. Levine presents a lot of information on how Americans became such avid consumers and the effects this has on our wallets, our waistlines and our planet, however, much of this material is presented in a boring academic fashion. Some of the material seems like a time-capsule from 2003/2004 (the year of her project) such as her pages of political tirades about the Bush/Kerry election. I enjoyed reading about some of the positive things Levine discovered by not shopping - such as re-discovering the public library, trying new hobbies, and spending time at free museums and concerts. This book did make me re-think some of my personal finance goals, and take a harder look at my "essential purchases." Overall, a fairly interesting read, I would recommend it to people interested in American consumer culture and the "voluntary simplicity" movement.

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