I’ve read several books about not buying things, but this was the first time I’ve read one that was just beautiful. Sarah Lazarovic’s A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy is the illustrated story of the author’s own experiences with consumerism, how she spent a year painting the things she wanted instead of buying them, and some advice on how anyone can improve their life by shopping less.
I saw this book at the library several times before and never took it seriously. After all, artists may be known for being poor but they’re not known for their great economic sensibilities. But I’m glad I finally gave it a shot. The stories about disposable goods were thoroughly humorous and entertaining. The compulsions to buy minimalist goods (“I have too much crap. I need more of less.”) are something I’ve experienced myself. And I could absolutely have used some of the rules she shares here rather than learn them myself the hard way.
As pretty as this book is, I borrowed instead of buying it. But it’s really tempting. It’s so easy to read that I kind of want to shove it at everyone I know so they can all finally understand how I feel about shopping. I’ve gotten so used to not buying crap most of the time that it’s just normal now and explanations fail me when the topic comes up unexpectedly. Who knows? Maybe I still will buy it one day. But I at least have to follow Rule #3: “Don’t buy anything the first time you see it…”
Now, I just need someone to write an illustrated book about why I don’t want the free tshirts that keep being pushed on me.