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Stuffocation: Why We've Had Enough of Stuff and Need Experience More Than Ever
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Stuffocation: Why We've Had Enough of Stuff and Need Experience More Than Ever

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  2,965 ratings  ·  416 reviews
Stuffocation is a movement manifesto for “experiential” living, a call to arms to stop accumulating stuff and start accumulating experiences, and a road map for a new way forward with the potential to transform our lives.

Reject materialism. Embrace experientialism. Live more with less.
Stuffocation is one of the most pressing problems of the twenty-first century. We have
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by Spiegel & Grau (first published December 1st 2013)
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Faigy Liebermann It was an easy read and it inspired me to get up and chuck!!
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Average rating 3.50  · 
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 ·  2,965 ratings  ·  416 reviews

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Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Hmm. Good effort. This is a nice synthesis of some current trends and a stab at predicting the future. My only big complaint is that this is predominantly a white, middle class, First World, affluent, future. Like another similar thesis I read in the book "Happy Money" I found myself grinding my teeth over the relentless Guardian and Sunday Times supplement depiction of our "experientialist" dreams and ambitions. You too can sit on a beach in Ghana and run your London Michelin starred restaurant ...more

A Christmas present(view spoiler). Takes an awful long time to say not very much, amusingly for a book concerned with the social and spiritual obesity resulting from the over production and overconsumption of material goods (view spoiler)
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's interesting how STUFF has a negative impact on my life & mood.
Really enjoyed this but did expect better when i heard about it initially.
Tre Rodriguez
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a 30-something New Yorker, I’ve been experiencing a shift in my attitude toward consumption these past few years. A sustained delight in returning the cable box to Time Warner; in preferring e-books that do not take up space; resoling a pair of boots instead of buying a new pair; in saving for a trip by eschewing taxis and new clothes for a year. I haven’t had a word — much less a movement — to which I could attribute this sense of wanting my life to involve less stuff and more experience. Tu ...more
Jenny Gilchrist
uuummmm.....I would have liked to give this book more stars. The premise is great, the title very clever, and the amount of work that has gone into it staggering. However, reading it is like pulling yourself through a vat of peanut butter, it just drags on and on and never really seems to get to the point.
Sooooo many case studies, I wasn't really interested after the first 5 or 6, ...yeah a bit too much history, and didn't get down to the nitty gritty of the psycho analytical reasons why one, o
David Sasaki
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Trained to cope with scarcity, we have struggled with abundance.
James Wallman

In 1991, the average American bought 34 items of clothing each year. By 2007, they were buying 67 items every year. It means Americans buy a new piece of clothing every four to five days.
James Wallman

Minimalism is not defined by what is not there but by the rightness of what is and the richness of what is experienced.
John Pawson

I often think that there are two macro-trends that have shaped the contours of my life: gl
Tara Tetzlaff
Apr 07, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
although the first half of the book was quite compelling, Wallman is either oblivious to or is unconcerned with the lives of the majority of the population....seems he works from the assumption that everyone is upper middle class. His treatment of religion was dismissive and deeply flawed. The book was regrettably a waste of both time and money..
Apr 02, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Haven't read the book yet, but have heard the author's talk along with some interesting discussions at the RSA.

Yes, I agree: less 'stuff', more experience.

However, 'Experience economy' = the new marketing? Do we want 'experiences' engineered, put on price tags and sold?

Similar to wanting designer bags, bigger and faster cars; we pursuing the life of others will not bring us contentment...yes, there will be money to be made, but ain't we back to the old same route.
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give this book at least 4 stars just for coming up with a most excellent word to describe the condition I and obviously many others feel so acutely: "stuffocation". It perfectly captures the sense that all the stuff we are accumulating is sucking the air from the room and the energy from our lives, and not doing the planet any favors either.

What Wallman does very well in this book is to step back from the current state to show us how we got here, because it is not just an individual jou
Am Y
Aug 23, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book in a nutshell tells you to stop craving material things and instead crave "experiences" (e.g. going on a holiday, boating, trekking, engaging in a hobby, etc).

As the book progresses, the author examines alternative lifestyles to the "materialist" one, like for instance minimalism, self-sustainability, making "just enough" to get by, etc. Many of these chapters feature case studies of people actually living those lifestyles (e.g. one of the women gave up her city life to move to the cou
I read this book because I'd loved James Wallmans TED talk on the subject. I liked the central premise of this book: that materialism/ having too much stuff in our lives is a problem. I enjoyed the various anecdotes about people's ways of dealing with the 'Stuffocation'. I even enjoyed the scattering of research and data the author presents. I'll tell you where it lost me - I wasn't sure if the book wanted to be predictive or prescriptive!

To wit - the author describes the problem, Stuffocation,
Mary Blowers
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Late last year a friend at work suggested we start a minimalist game, in which we get rid of one thing on the first of the month, 2 things on the second, and so on. We did this for two months and then it was Christmas time so we took a break. If properly carried out, we each decluttered 496 items this way each month. I saw some major progress in the two months, getting rid of old makeup, worn out shoes and clothes, clothes that didn’t fit, expired food, and many other things. I may pick it up ag ...more
Michael Miller
Mar 23, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: consumerism
Wallman starts strong, but the second half of the book is bitterly disappointing. The first quarter of the book is a lively critique of materialist culture, the drive to amass possessions, and role of advertising (the captains of consciousness) in advancing this vision of the good life. The next quarter is an examination of several routes out of this "stuffocating" lifestyle: minimalism (shedding as many possessions as you can), the simple life (getting back to basics and roughing it), the mediu ...more
Janis Hill
I read an ARC of this book via Netgalley for an open and honest review.

As I’m currently going through a phase in my life where we want to declutter and enjoy life more than possessions, I felt this a great book to read. And, to be honest, big parts of it were rather interesting in the things they discussed. I learnt a lot and did enjoy small sections.

But, unfortunately, for a book that was meant to help with decluttering our lives, I found it way too cluttered, at times really mind numbing to re
Delia Turner
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Nothing particularly earth shattering here. Reviews the arguments for materialism, the simple life, and minimalism, with a fair number of anecdotes. Plumps for something he calls experientalism, which (as he acknowledges) sounds like Facebook one-up-manship and seems to him to be at least partially a type of status-seeking. Accumulating experiences as a lifestyle feels to me oddly like parasitism.

The tone of my review may be due to an overload of books written for wistful MBAs, IT professionals
May 06, 2015 marked it as abandoned
Ironically, way too stuffed with words, making it unfocused & tedious to wade through. If you read blogs about minimalism &/or choosing experiences over things, you've already read most of what is covered, imo. ...more
Kitty Jay
I was hoping for more from this book. Stuffocation - and I'll pause to note, what a great title! - by James Wallman attacks the growth of clutter and materialism in Western culture, and how best to move away from this cultural crisis. He expounds on the history of materialism and how we got here, how we know we are there, and where we can go, not necessarily in that order. He looks at options: minimalism, simple living, and medium chill, before settling on experientialism as the great answer.

Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Are we all tired of "stuff"? Are we instead look for experiences? I know this is true for me. Do I want jewels, new clothes, a new car? No thanks, give me a seminar, a weekend away or a plane ticket any day. James Wallman believes this is a trend we are seeing throughout our society. As we all look for ways to pare down our stuff, we are looking for new things to experience - possibly as simple as time with family, but also as stimulating as hang-gliding. His theory is very convincing. Are you a ...more
Mar 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley.

If you picked this up thinking once again you're going to read about home organizing techniques, guess again. "Stuffocation" is about what led us to this point of having so much stuff--not just physical things, but endless food to stuff our faces, and endless digital files, emails and streaming video to keep us occupied 24/7--and if we have possibly reached the tipping point, as shown by the growing crop of minimalist blogs and the Tiny Home movement
[3.5 stars]

Dates are approximations as I borrowed the eAudiobook from my library. I also *technically* didn't finish is as the epilogue (thing) seemed to just go on and on so I eventually hit pause and then forgot to return to it...

Anyway, I've been wanting to read this book for a while because I'm personally very interested in STUFF and how it affects my mood, wellbeing etc. I've spent the last couple of years regularly going through my belongings and donating bags and bags of STUFF to charity
I have seen this book around, especially when I was really started to get interested in minimalism. My interest waned but I still wanted to read this book and when I saw it come up in my library on audiobook, I took the chance. And while I didn’t find it a complete waste of my time, I am very glad I didn’t spend any money on it.

Stuffocation is a book about how the current culture of buying more and more simply for the sake of it is making people unhappy and how culture should move more towards v
Mar 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleased to read James Wallman's thoroughly researched book. My wife and I have chosen to live in a smaller house so that we don't have the stresses associated with a mortgage and extra bills. Instead, we often say that we would rather do than have. This idea was the core of Wellman's book. He tackled the issues clearly and fairly and pointed out the problems with each view he describes.

I particularly liked his explanation that stuff is good because of the benefits it gives us. But at the
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a fascinating look at today's society and economics. The author posits that our culture has gone beyond materialism because we can easily afford all that we need and more and we now realize that stuff does not make us happy and we have too much stuff. He feels that a new age is dawning, one where we, as a society will value experiences more than stuff, something that he calls experientialism. He explains the reasons for this shift in attitude and proof that it is happening and gives ...more
May 15, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I think this reviewer said it much better, but here it goes anyway:
For a book dealing with clutter and minimalism (and other similar subjects), it sure was cluttered! The idea was good, some of the information you could extract was interesting, but to get to it you had to wade through a mix of extremely boring anecdotes/quasi-stories, and loads of fact dump (it kept going from one to the other indiscriminately). Eventually I just grew bored and gave up reading it. I just don't have the patience
Corinne Wahlberg
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It preached to the proverbial choir. But now I know why I get anxious in kitchens with poorly organized cupboards. Also, learn the difference between a minimalist and a experientialist and how both are still consumers. I like stuff, actually. Well...I like beautifully and cleverly designed stuff. Breaking from the materialism mold one garbage bag full of clothes at a time.
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read 10/02/15

Reread 27/12/16

Really good look at how Western Society is drowning in 'stuff' and a good refresher to help me have and want less stuff in 2017
hayls 🐴
This book was less about the problem of materialism generally and more focused of selling the idea of experientialism. Minimalism, voluntary simplicity and other movements away from materialism were mentioned but experientialism was clearly the author’s favourite.

What irked me about this book was that the author seemed to favour experientialism as a strategy because it was the only one which didn’t require a big shake up of your life. More than once did I read the words “to be an experientialist
Jan 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were some parts of tis book I really agreed with but other sections not at all. In principle I agree that we were a very materialistic society, particularly in the 80's, and that material possessions were a status symbol. I also agree there was no long term happiness in 'collecting' these possessions. I also agree that experiences are far more important than possessions and if you think about it, that is the way advertisers are getting us to by cars for example. Is all about escaping the r ...more
Wallman makes a convincing argument that, after a certain point, more things do not increase the quality of life. In fact, it would seem quite the opposite. Many of today's homes are drowning in an excess of stuff. He examines a few approaches to dealing with the situation, ultimately advocating for a middle path. Things are good, especially food, clothing, and shelter. But experiences have much more power to make us feel satisfied with our lives.

A perfect read for those who have just discovere
The first 1/3 of the book was really interesting and motivational, but the rest of the book felt like more of the same. The stories of people who became minimalists/experientalists started to blur together and after a while it didn't feel like they added much more to the book. Over all an interesting read but I think it could have been much stronger if it had been condensed to about 120-150 pages. ...more
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James Wallman is a journalist and trend forecaster. He has forecast the future and written for clients and publications such as Absolut, BMW, Nike, the Guardian, The New York Times, Esquire and GQ. In the line of duty, he has interviewed terrorists, the victims of serious crime, Noam Chomsky, and a woman who wanted to marry her alarm clock.

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Believe it or not, we're halfway through 2021! As is our tradition, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial team burrows into our data to...
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“the best place to find status, identity, meaning, and happiness is in experiences,” 4 likes
“Instead of trying to understand who we really are, we reach for the “Real Thing”. And when the goods we buy fail to match up to those deep desires, instead of giving up on material goods, we just keep banging our heads against the wall and buying more.” 2 likes
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