That being said, "Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping" was a book I was seriously looking forward to reading, despite the fact that it is now several years old. Not only did it sound right up my alley in terms of my own journey towards simplifying life, but it is available through my local library. Perfect!
I wanted to love this book. I tried to love this book. I'm sorry. I didn't. "Not Buying It" by Judith Levine is the story of one couple's decision to stop buying pretty much anything other than food, for one calendar year. I was prepared to be inspired, however, very quickly into the book, I realized that instead of focusing on personal growth and the new experiences available to her by withdrawing from the buying culture, she concentrated more on what she felt she was missing and how complicated and frustrating she felt life was as a result. I hate to say this, but the book felt whiny to me.
I don't mean to disparage the great effort it took to make and sustain her commitment to not buying for a full 12 months, but I would have liked to have read less about her political persuasion (which at times seemed irrelevant) and more about how she came to realize that our buying choices affect the world around us (something she concludes in the end).
She did end the book on a more positive note. One quote that stuck out for me was:
By not assuaging transient needs... we've made ourselves available to a wider range of small experiences... These feelings are not always comfortable. But they have their own unexpected rewards...
It is this quote that sums up for me one of the key discoveries of living a more mindful life - the unexpected rewards that are realized when we step out of our comfort zones.
Unfortunately, this one quote wasn't enough to redeem the book for me, but perhaps others may find it inspiring. The good news is if you're interested in reading this book, it has been made available in its entirety for free via Google Books. Let me know what you think.
Have others of you read "Not Buying It?" What were your thoughts on the book?