Not Buying It

Not Buying It

My Year Without Shopping

Book - 2006
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Baker & Taylor
A journalist traces a year during which she and her partner struggled to stop consumer spending practices in spite of their American conditioning, an effort that had an impact on their careers, family relationships, and personal identities.

& Taylor

An award-winning journalist traces a year during which she and her partner struggled with a pledge to avoid consumer spending practices in spite of their American conditioning, an effort that had a profound impact on their careers, family relationships, and personal identities. By the author of Do You Remember Me? 25,000 first printing.

Simon and Schuster
"The idea occurs to me, as so many desperate resolutions do, during the holiday season. I have maxed out the Visa, moved on to the Citibank debit card, and am tapping the ATM like an Iraqi guerrilla pulling crude from the pipeline. Convinced I am picking up no more than the occasional trinket...this atheist Grinch has managed to scatter $1,001 across New York City and the World Wide Web."And so, disgusted with the commerce in everything from pet cloning to patriotism, panicked over the fate 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 no primer on the simple life and how to live it. It's the confessions 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.The book will have readers discussing how and why they, too, might survive without shopping. 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.

Publisher: New York : Free Press, [2006]
Copyright Date: ©2006
ISBN: 9780743269353
Branch Call Number: 640.73 Levine 2006
Characteristics: 274 pages ; 24 cm


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hgeng63 Feb 10, 2015

Enjoyable but a little dated. A little too much political activity in it for my taste. I've read this at least 3 times because me & a friend recently recycled & threw out 10 years worth of my stuff. Now I only buy things when I run out of them.

WVMLStaffPicks Oct 26, 2014

Could you live for a year without shopping, new clothes, new CDs, new things for your house or car, seeing a movie or going to a concert? Obviously you have to buy food and things like soap and shampoo. What do you do about airline tickets or gifts? Where do you draw the line? Read Not Buying It and find out how the author and her husband managed for a year – a year without shopping.

Nov 19, 2012

I thought this was a great personal story. Levine wasn't preaching, she was just trying to figure out where she fit as an American consumer and as an American citizen. Very thoughtfully written, and in particular the last few days of December that she wrote about were very moving and insightful.

Jan 05, 2012

I was a little frustrated by the lack of strict rules for consumption. Like the person below said, they had some issues defining what was necessary and what was an exception to the rule, but I think that reflects society in terms of consumption; deciding how much is enough.
Good read, but too much talk, not enough action.

Jun 05, 2008

They didn't go without shopping. They bought all the extras (including lawn ornaments) Dec. 31, quit shopping on Jan 1, ran out of extras (wine) by June, began to break the rules in fall, and dragged themselves and their three cars back to reality one year later. What did they learn? I learned almost nothing. Try Scott Nearing or Henry David Thoreau.

Dec 30, 2007

This book was featured on Oprah. Excellent


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