By September 23, 2009 0 Comments Read More →


41kPXdzm8sL._SL160_Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell is getting a lot of press these days.  It’s a frank discussion of why we buy junk we don’t need, how prices affect us psychologically, what happened in the past to send us down this path, and how it’s affecting our future.  When a patron asks you for it, steer them towards these as well:

Not Buying It: My Year without Shopping by Judith Levine.  Levine and her partner try to spend an entire year not buying anything but necessities.

Give It Up!: My Year of Learning to Live Better with Less by Mary Carlomagno.  Similar to Levine’s book, Carlomagno gives up one thing per month – drinking, shopping, dessert, even swearing.

Throw Out Fifty Things:  Clear the Clutter, Clear Your Life by Gail Blanke.  Blanke shows you how to stop letting bad purchases clutter your space and your life.

Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businessesby Stacy Mitchell.  A look at how mega-retailers are shrinking the middle class and adding to environmental concerns.

A Year Without “Made in China”: One Family’s True Life Adventure in the Global Economy by Sara Bongiorni.  Bongiorni, her husband, and 2 kids try to spend an entire year not purchasing anything made in China, with fascinating results.

To be fair, you could always add:

The Wal-Mart Revolution: How Big Box Stores Benefit Consumers, Workers, and the Economy by Richard Vedder and Wendell Cox.  Because libraries like to remain fair and balanced, right?



About the Author:

Rebecca Vnuk is the editor for Collection Management and Library Outreach at Booklist. She is also the author of 3 reader’s-advisory nonfiction books: Read On…Women’s Fiction (2009), Women’s Fiction: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests (2014), and Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide (2009). Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_RVnuk.

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