Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Not Buying It

Painting dilemma - I have some wooden storage units for my new craft room cum office walls. They are sitting in the garage all primed and ready for paint. If only I could decide which colour.

I spent a fruitless hour on Sunday in Homebase trying to pick one out and instead found myself back home with a fistful of paint chips, no further forward.

Then I find myself wondering how much it really matters - can't I just use some leftover paint from the garage and save myself all this angst. Because I'm sure that would be the option Judith Levine would choose.

Her book Not Buying It is out in paperback in a week or two. I'm waiting impatiently to read it since I read this review from The Independent:
"Many of us are unhappy, not because we don't have enough, but because we have too much. The usual answer to this problem? Just consume more stuff. We have a vast market in storage (things in which we put other things in order to make it seem as if we have no things)"

Oh yes, this struck a chord. The book is a memoir detailing the author's experiment in not buying anything but the essentials for a year. I need to read it.

When I told my hubby I planned to buy it, he laughed at the irony of that statement. So I did try to reserve it at the library, but there is a long waiting list (guess I'm not the first to have that idea) so in my impatience I've ordered it. Hey, at least I did it from my local independent bookshop...

19 comments:

raspberry said...

Duck egg blue, or a very pale lilac, im my opinion!

Also that book sounds great, but what do you do about the children, and all their stuff. A lot of these books are great, in you have lots of money, and no children, I have none of the former, and two nutters of the latter!!!!

Amy said...

LOVE LOVE that quote - esp. after reading the Martha Stewart January issue last night. I was just struck with how little "stuff" it seemed everyone had.

Yeah - well, you remember my phase last fall... I almost had a no buy it year but it wasn't realistic with a kid with growing feet..etc. But I did declare my intentions to continue buying less, buying only quality, buying local, buying used... etc. And no chain discount stores all year.

I too was struck by the irony of not buying the book but I still want to read it. Hmmm Half Price Used books today maybe :-) Good luck with your quest.

velcro said...

we've been trying to do the "only buy essentials" thing for the last few years and well I guess it depends on what you deem to be essential.

but I've ordered the book from the library.

kirsten said...

something i think about a lot.
i saw the other of not buying it on oprah. very intriguing. i've been trying to use fabric i already have, and remake clothing i have as well. i've also been trying to hit the thrift stores more, but, esp. with growing kids, it's very hard to be TOO into that.

Alicia A. said...

Good Luck!

I'll have to look for the book too- just my kind of thing.

Laurie said...

All the colors are lovely!

Judith Levine must have snuck into my house when I wasn't looking. Ugh.

Veronique said...

I love the color palette, so soothy/relaxing. Lovely.
And... I managed to put a hold on the Judith Levine book at my library -- thanks for the pointer!)

Megan said...

Love the palette. Just close your eyes and throw a dart.

Sounds like an interesting book. Must read it. (Bet it's not at my library. Which translates into, must buy it.)

Kate said...

That book sounds great - sounds like the perfect book to read after reading Affluenza. I don't think not buying would work for me, but I like the idea of really thinking about what we buy.

capello said...

i need to get aaron that book. seriously, he just gave me a speech about how much he loves all the stuff in his cave. it's a problem.

Gemma said...

I have the distinct feeling that G might be buying me this book! I have a bit of a storage fettish. As well as a "stuff" issue. It isn't good, I really need a good poke with a stick to get me moving in the "get rid of stuff" and "stop buying boxes/baskets" direction.

Please review it when you've read it. Let us poor storage fettish freaks know if it is a necessary purchase!

Simmy said...

Thanks for mentioning that book - I think I'll go and reserve it at the library and what a great quote too. I usually ask the children if they want something or need it but don't always follow that myself There are times when I look around my house and feel sick at the sight of so much stuff. Books are the main thing I'm addicted to buying. Oh heck you've spurred me into action - I'm going around the house with a black bin bag and decluttering - bye.

tiel S-K said...

isn't just ridiculous how much we yearn for...and so call 'need'? But hey, we only live once! I'm in a colour dilema state of my own. I love blues and greens so I'm not much help. the only thing I can suggest is to choose a tone..ie. a level of colour. Think in greys. What strength of grey would you use? Once you have made that decision then you can eliminate some of the colours. Are there any objects in the room that are of the same colour? Match them. this might help.

I should really look into that book. Yes, a review please!

lindiepindie said...

It sounds like a great book. I've felt little desire to shop for anything but the essentials since Christmas. Really, I know we have way too much.

beverley said...

I just finished 'Not buying it', was a great read. Defenitely making some changes to my own life even tho I already shop mostly 2nd hand. I have a 2 year old and the hardest thing to give up for myself will be the.....tv........ I hope I can do it.
Love your blog.

jojo* said...

Sounds like a great book. I'll have to put it on hold at the 'brary.

Angel Jem said...

Buy only essentials... but books must count as essentials, don't they? There are months when the only thing apart from food and (thank goodness) toilet roll that I've bought are books. I need them like I need air and the internet... Like Ursula K Leguin wrote we read to find out who we are, and I'm sure Judith Levine thinks something similar. Mind you, you can't beat a good book half price.

Mark said...

Hi Ali - I'm afraid the retail conspiracy (or more likely, the usual sloppy attention to deadlines that seems to afflict publishers) has struck again. The deadline for this book has now extended to 11th February.

We're as keen to get it as you are! Obviously we classify small numbers of life-enhancing books from your local independent as essentials...

Judith Levine said...

Hi,
Judith Levine here. Not to blow my own horn (OK...to blow my own horn) but I agree with Angel Jim: SUVs are not essential. Foie gras is not essential. But books are essential! One reason to cut out the extraneous crap is to have enough not just for what you want but for what matters in the world. I'd say books fit there. And if you don't buy books -- NEW -- writers won't be able to write them. This is how we make our living, after all.
cheers. JL