Bobbie's Reviews > Shoptimism: Why the American Consumer Will Keep on Buying No Matter What

Shoptimism by Lee Eisenberg
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Feb 12, 2010

really liked it
Read in February, 2010

Shoptimism was a book touted on NPR and by my boyfriend, how could I turn it down? After a decent wait it arrived, and the boyfriend dispensed with it in a week. This, then, was going to be a good time: if it isn't extremely well written and diverting, then the boyfriend cannot be bothered.

Lee has worked at Land's End and Esquire, lives in Chicago, and has a well-funded wife and two children. Lee's life and mine are about as diametrically opposite as you can make it, except that we are both fiscally conservative and we seem to enjoy watching how people behave (and why they behave that way). Shoptimism looks at the quasi-American (I say quasi, because there are more cultures than ours that enjoy endulgence in expenditure, see Japan) tendency to purchase and the very very thin line, at least in this vocaublary, between "want" and "need". He relegates people into two groups such as 'Buy Scolds" ("don't buy that! it's spending money! research it for 60 days first and purchase only then on a full stomach!) and the opposite, those who would want you to buy ("Buy this! It's shiny and cutting edge!). I am a horrific Buy Scold with some splurchase tendencies (another wonderful phrase from the book: a "splurchase" is a purchase made in splurge to either self-congratulate or self-medicate). Having read "The Millionaire Next Door" and "The Millionaire Woman Next Door" and "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" etc., this only affirms that you need to have a very good grip on "want" vs "need").

I loaned it to my Dad... and now I really want to read "Freakonomics".
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02/04 marked as: read

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