Thursday, February 17, 2011

a bibliography

So I promised my fellow bloomsburians that I would provide a bibliography on my presentation from tonight. It went swimmingly; they were awesome. Here (in no particular order) are the resources:

Stuff was the book that, for me started this all; I couldn't put it down. Although I was disappointed that it didn't cover the emotional relationship healthy people have with stuff as much as I'd hoped. This link also includes a scale of pictures by which people can measure their own level of clutter/potential hoarding.

A Perfect Mess is a rebellion against a culture that values neatness over efficiency, and a fun read. It explores the benefits of disorganization.

Organizing From the Inside Out is the organizing book my sisters all swear by. I found it useless when I could fit everything I owned into a metro, but these days I have to agree with them.

Spent, Memoirs of a Shopping Addict was a fascinating read as much for the peak inside high-fashion life as for the discussion of shopping addiction. It didn't contribute tons to the project, but it was an interesting read. The most compelling thing for me was how shopping addiction parallels eating disorders.*

Buried in Treasures was a treatment manual for compulsive hoarding. The behavioral modification techniques were interesting enough that I'd recommend anyone who is trying to change a seriously entrenched habit, and especially anyone who isn't satisfied with the way they get and keep objects, should have a look over it.

Cheap was an exploration of price expectations over time, starting with a local US economy and moving into a global one. Her discussions on craftsmanship, the science of pricing, and global labor issues were really inspiring.

You Don't Have to be Rich, I've mentioned here before. It was exceedingly thought provoking.

Other resources I drew upon include the children of hoarders website, the excellent story of stuff website, and the cheesy-but-weirdly-awesome PBS documentary Affluenza. If you're concerned about the environmental end of things, you may also want to check out this blog entry.

*I think the terrible relationship Americans have with food and the terrible relationship Americans have with stuff have similarities worth exploring. Recently I've read some great, very biased, very persuasive books that discuss how we deal with food. They definitely have flaws, but Omnivore's Dilemma changed the way I see food and the world, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle was full of rich storytelling and helpful practical advice. The Elements of Cooking also had a big impact on how I see food. It is among my top ten books, and I highly recommend it if you're interested in exploring the sensuality of food, cooking as an art and a craft, and the depth of western culinary tradition.


misssrobin said...

This is a fun list. I've read a couple of them. I'll have to check out some of the others.

Since I am currently enthusiastically embracing my inner minimalist, I'm really noticing the consumerism around me more. Everyone wants more. More is better. It makes me claustraphobic just thinking about it. Ugh.

Day said...

Ok, here's my question for you: I was looking at some minimalism links--I think one of them was off of your blog--and it struck me that some of the things suggested looked like a lot of work. . . like, having less stuff becomes a hobby of it's own. Where do you draw that line, and decide what's most functional for you?

I do totally agree that most people have way more stuff than they need, and it's kinda disturbing.

Day said...

(mostly from an ecological and happiness standpoint, that is.)