So I started Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping, by Judith Levine. It was the inspiration for my little experiment, even before I had read it. It seemed like such an interesting premise that I had to try it out myself.
But now that I’m reading it, I’m a little disappointed. It’s possible the subject isn’t long enough to fill an entire book. Or it could be possible that I’m not as interested in the subject matter as I first thought. It could be that Levine comes at the topic from a female perspective. But I think it’s more likely Levine simply inhabits a different universe than I.
She has closets full of shoes (so she always has the right pair, whether walking or running, in wet weather or dry). She has a dozen pairs at her home in Vermont, and twice that many in her apartment in Manhattan. She eats lemongrass and soy, but not meat. She looks for new, creative ways to bash Bush. She has no kids. If she cut her spending in half, she would still have twice my cost of living. It’s hard for me to stay focused on her personal struggles with spending when she strays tirelessly into anti-Bush vitriol. And I can’t help think I’d be reading quite a bit less about sock fashions were this book written by a man.
Even though I only got to March in Levine’s account of her year, and even though the book provided the inspiration for my little experiment, I have to put it down. I’m not buying it. And neither should you.