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This title in other editions

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping

by

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping Cover

ISBN13: 9780743269360
ISBN10: 0743269365
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Many of us have tried to call a halt to our spending at one time or another. But what if we decided not to buy anything for a whole year? Obviously, we would need necessities like food and soap, but how would be manage without new clothes, treats, entertainment?

Funny, smart and self-deprecating, Not Buying It is a close look at our society's obsession with shopping and the cold turkey confession of a woman we can all identify with — someone who can't live without French roast coffee andexpensive wool socks, but who has had enough of spending money for the sake of it. Without consumer goods and experiences, Levine and her partner Paul pursue their careers, nurture family relationships and try to keep their sanity and humour intact. Tracking their progress and lapses, she contemplates the meanings of need and desire, scarcity and security, consumerism and citizenship. She asks the big questions — can the economy survive without shopping? Are Q-tips a necessity?

A thought-provoking account of the pleasures and perils of the purchase-driven life, Not Buying It will get readers talking about their reliance on the act of buying and the possibility of getting off the merry-go-round.

Review:

"Within 24 hours of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had this advice for his fellow New Yorkers: 'Show you're not afraid. Go to restaurants. Go shopping.' As to how people elsewhere could help? 'Come here and spend money.'

However bizarre this response to terrorism may have been, Giuliani was scarcely alone. The Bush administration came out in... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"An important book." Bill McKibben

Review:

"I love this book." Barbara Ehrenreich

Review:

"One of the five best books on consumer culture." Paco Underhill, The Wall Street Journal

Review:

"Sharp and witty....honest and humorous....By thinking harder about how it would feel to consume less, we might just make ourselves — and our planet — a lot better." The Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"[Levine] explores with refreshing doses of self-critique the emotional and social impulses that drive shopping....[A] lively, thoughtful look at consumerism and anticonsumerism." Library Journal

Review:

"An entertaining exploration of personal desires and needs, with larger social and economic implications." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

This cold-turkey confession by an award-winning journalist follows her progress — and inevitable relapses — over an entire year of not spending.

Synopsis:

Shocked by the commerce in everything from pet cloning to patriotism, frightened by the downward spiral of her finances and that of the trash-strewn earth, Judith Levine enlists her partner, Paul, in a radical experiment: to forgo all but the most necessary purchases for an entire year.

Without consumer goods and experiences, Judith and Paul pursue their careers, nurture relationships, and try to keep their sanity, their identities, and their sense of humor intact. Tracking their progress — and inevitable lapses — Levine contemplates need and desire, scarcity and security, consumerism and citizenship. She asks the Big Questions: Can the economy survive without shopping? Are Q-tips necessary?

Not Buying It is the confession of a woman any reader can identify with: someone who can't live without French roast coffee or SmartWool socks but who has had it up to here with overconsumption and its effects on the earth and everyone who dwells there.

For the humor and intelligence of its insights, the refreshment of its skepticism, and the surprises of its conclusions, Not Buying It is sure to be on anyone's list of Necessities.

About the Author

Levine has written about the ways in which culture, politics, and history are enacted in people's intimate lives over the past twenty-five years. Her articles and essays have appeared in dozens of national publications, including Harper's, The New York Times, and salon.com. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Hardwick, Vermont.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Annette Rost, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Annette Rost)
Really liked the book topic as well as the author's thoughts throughout the year. It would be difficult for me to embark on a year without buying and the author seemed to struggle as well. The payoff at the end of the year must have felt great. Wish I could meet the challenge of not buying for a year!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Jennifer Short, January 11, 2009 (view all comments by Jennifer Short)
Have you ever wondered if you could go a year without buying anything but what is needed? Well, the author of "Not Buying It" did just that. Is it easier to survive in the city or in a rural area when you aren't 'buying it'? She lives part time in New York and part time in Vermont, so you get a taste of both lifestyles. A little frugality, a little politics, and thoughts about consumerism, terrorism, and carbon footprints top off this delightful book.
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(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
moralvintage, March 19, 2007 (view all comments by moralvintage)
One must be a brave soul, or simply 'sick to their back teeth' of seemingly irrepressible consumerism, to take on the challenge of not shopping for an entire year. Narrated in a personal and surprisingly non-dogmatic style, Levine recounts her adventure month by month, from the initial task of enlisting her partner's support (he insists that wine IS a necessity) to her frantic collapse when she thinks she might have lost her SmartWool socks and won't be able to replace them with another pair. In an era in which we know that consumerism is as bad for us as for the planet, but do not quite know what to do about it, Levine offers up the possiblity of a critical consumerism that begins with an awareness of our own habits.
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(10 of 18 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743269360
Author:
Levine, Judith
Publisher:
Free Press
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Consumer Behavior - General
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20070231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 8.715 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Women
Business » General
Business » Management
Business » Marketing
History and Social Science » American Studies » General
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
History and Social Science » Sociology » American Studies

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Free Press - English 9780743269360 Reviews:
"Review" by , "An important book."
"Review" by , "I love this book."
"Review" by , "One of the five best books on consumer culture."
"Review" by , "Sharp and witty....honest and humorous....By thinking harder about how it would feel to consume less, we might just make ourselves — and our planet — a lot better."
"Review" by , "[Levine] explores with refreshing doses of self-critique the emotional and social impulses that drive shopping....[A] lively, thoughtful look at consumerism and anticonsumerism."
"Review" by , "An entertaining exploration of personal desires and needs, with larger social and economic implications."
"Synopsis" by , This cold-turkey confession by an award-winning journalist follows her progress — and inevitable relapses — over an entire year of not spending.
"Synopsis" by , Shocked by the commerce in everything from pet cloning to patriotism, frightened by the downward spiral of her finances and that of the trash-strewn earth, Judith Levine enlists her partner, Paul, in a radical experiment: to forgo all but the most necessary purchases for an entire year.

Without consumer goods and experiences, Judith and Paul pursue their careers, nurture relationships, and try to keep their sanity, their identities, and their sense of humor intact. Tracking their progress — and inevitable lapses — Levine contemplates need and desire, scarcity and security, consumerism and citizenship. She asks the Big Questions: Can the economy survive without shopping? Are Q-tips necessary?

Not Buying It is the confession of a woman any reader can identify with: someone who can't live without French roast coffee or SmartWool socks but who has had it up to here with overconsumption and its effects on the earth and everyone who dwells there.

For the humor and intelligence of its insights, the refreshment of its skepticism, and the surprises of its conclusions, Not Buying It is sure to be on anyone's list of Necessities.

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