Book Review: The Year of Less

I’ve given up burning the candle at both ends, I just threw myself into the fire. Given that state of extreme stress and constant over work, The Year of Less by Cait Flanders was extremely appealing.

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Goodreads):

In her late twenties, Cait Flanders found herself stuck in the consumerism cycle that grips so many of us: earn more, buy more, want more, rinse, repeat. Even after she worked her way out of nearly $30,000 of consumer debt, her old habits took hold again. When she realized that nothing she was doing or buying was making her happy—only keeping her from meeting her goals—she decided to set herself a challenge: she would not shop for an entire year.

The Year of Less documents Cait’s life for twelve months during which she bought only consumables: groceries, toiletries, gas for her car. Along the way, she challenged herself to consume less of many other things besides shopping. She decluttered her apartment and got rid of 70 percent of her belongings; learned how to fix things rather than throw them away; researched the zero waste movement; and completed a television ban. At every stage, she learned that the less she consumed, the more fulfilled she felt.

The challenge became a lifeline when, in the course of the year, Cait found herself in situations that turned her life upside down. In the face of hardship, she realized why she had always turned to shopping, alcohol, and food—and what it had cost her. Unable to reach for any of her usual vices, she changed habits she’d spent years perfecting and discovered what truly mattered to her.

Blending Cait’s compelling story with inspiring insight and practical guidance, The Year of Less will leave you questioning what you’re holding on to in your own life—and, quite possibly, lead you to find your own path of less.

My thoughts:

This is a one day book, meaning I dragged it with me all day so I could read what happened next as soon as possible.

Does she give great ideas on how to shop less?

Er, not really. Her suggestions felt few and far between. And when I was done reading I couldn’t really tell you what she said about that, other than think before you spend.

Does she write a compelling memoir none the less?

Oh yeah.

And she made me think about my compulsive consumerism. Because to be honest, I think we are all a little compulsive. Maybe a lot.

I know I was already chewing on how much is too much, what do I really need, why do I feel compelled to get things I don’t need or to buy them for other people? Moving for the second time in nine months will do that to you. LOL. Perhaps that’s why this book spoke to me.

But I think, if you’re at all interested in other people, this is an enjoyable book to read.

 

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