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Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? Paperback – March 31, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A professor of graphic design in Portland, Bingaman-Burt has been documenting her personal relationship with consumerism across a range of artistic endeavors. Here in this book, though, she bears witness with a daily drawing of something that she spent money on that day, beginning on February 5, 2006. The book covers the first three years of her documentary urges and her impulse spending. From her monthly credit card bills to a bottle of soda at the CVS to an iPhone (finally, on 11/21/08!) to more fancy artist's pens (the last entry), Bingaman-Burt bears witness to how we live today, and where all the money goes." --my3books

"Speaking of amazing women, Kate Bingaman-Burt is a maker's maker. Her tireless work drawing purchases and then publishing them in a monthly zine has been bringing a smile to my face for years. I can't wait to see her book that comes out this March." --Design-Milk

"Looking through this little book (itself a very appealing object), it's easy for me to feel Bingaman-Burt's joy in acquisition -- something most of us have experienced (whether we admit it or not) -- as much as her obsession with the stuff she buys, and her unease at just how much of it there proves to be. Obsessive Consumption doesn't order us around. Instead, Bingaman-Burt creates some space to assess our experiences in consumer culture, and figure out how over-consumption affects us." --onearth, April 22, 2010

"Princeton Architectural Press presents Bingaman-Burts in a nicely designed volume, with each section in a monochrome color for no particular reason, other than it looks good. That kind of sums up her drawings, too." --Bookgasm.com, May 12, 2010

"I was given the book called Obsessive Consumption by Kate Bingaman-Burt and while I enjoyed the illustrations, I didnt really know what to make of it at first. Cute, I thought, but whats the point of drawing pretty much everything one buys? I started reading the intro and all of a sudden the book took another another meaning: G and I started talking about how we were raised when it comes to shopping. We were saying how glad we are that we are not shoppers. After a few minutes we looked at each other and said: Wait a second, we ARE shoppers, we shop ONLINE. We just dont go into stores! Oops!Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?, by Kate Bingaman-Burt (Make sure to read all her little comments next to her illustrations. Truly entertaining!) " --Swiss-Miss.com, March 29, 2010

"Bingaman-Burt walks us through some of her favorite images in the book as well as some more recent daily purchase drawings." --Fast Company, April 7, 2010

"Obsessive Consumption (Princeton Architectural Press) is her sweet act of contrition... Read from beginning to end, Obsessive Consumption reveals a happy (if somewhat guilty) grasshopper who likes a good bargain as much as she likes a good burrito. Bingaman-Burt engages in the same name-brand culture as the rest of us, but in her life, at least, its art." --The New York Times Magazine, April 10, 2010

"Obsessive Consumption: What Did you Buy Today? (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010), by Kate Bingaman-Burt, represents a selection of three years worth of the authors annotated drawings of her purchases including wedding bands, beer, a dog, and, of course, drawing supplies." --Significant Objects, March 12, 2010

"Kate Bingaman-Burt illustrates the purchases she makes on her blog Obsessive Consumption. Its absolutely charming. Her first book Obsessive Consumption, What Did You Buy Today? will be published by Princeton Architectural Press this yearthis month? Kate, when will we be able to get our hands on your yummy book?" --ConsumeRetort, March 21, 2010

"...a colorful and surprisingly personal book that we simply can't put down. She has tapped into something that readers of all ages and incomes will appreciate and enjoy." --StyledOn.Com, April 15, 2010

"Talk about retail therapyillustrator Kate Bingaman-Burt has been drawing something she's purchased every single day since February 5, 2006. Those drawings, alongside drawings of all her credit card statements, appear in the new book Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?" --Racked Fashion Blog, April 12, 2010

"I think what Kate does is brilliant and makes us all think about why and how often we are buying stuff. The book is a wonderful collection of three years worth of her quirky line drawings and detailed credit card statements." --Book By Its Cover, April 16, 2010

"Reading Kates book and blog is sort of like being a voyeur and peeking in someones shopping cart at the grocery store, but I like to think of the experience as being more anthropological in nature. See what you think: purchase the book here." --Indiefixx, March 29, 2010

"I dont know what tickles me so much about Kate Bingaman-Burts new book, Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? but I am in love with it. Over three years, illustrator Bingaman-Burt drew every single thing she purchased and has now collected the images in a book that is arranged with wit and whimsy. Part calorie-counting equivalent, part journal, part social commentary, the idea of building up a character and life from ones purchases is very appealing to me. Besides, her style is just so deliciously pleasing." --Audrey Monroe, April 13, 2010

"Im excited to get a hold of a copy of Kate Bingaman-Burts new book, Obsessive Consumption: What Did you Buy Today?. This book contains a selection of drawings of things that shes purchased throughout the past 3 years. It documents a celebration of beauty in everyday things. From the illustrations, you really get a personal sense of who Kate is." --This That These and Those, April 2, 2010

"Many of you are probably familiar with Kate Bingaman-Burts obsessive consumptionillustrations. Im excited to get a hold of her new book, Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?." --Art Milk, April 16, 2010

"Voyeurs will be giddy at the mere sight of the book, I can guarantee you that. My mind was actually conjuring images of Kate walking down the street, and finding THAT particular succulent in a pot in a store. Granted, I have a very vivid imagination, but to be able to see the everyday details in normal life drawn out in Obsessive Consumption made me realize that we all have more things in common than we thought (even though we are oceans away from each other.)" --Pikaland, April 9, 2010

"I love the premise of this book not only because of the fun illustrations (Kate also draws for the New York Times, ReadyMade, Ideo, Newsweek, and many more clients), but because it calls to attention how quickly our piles of things add up. How much DO we buy on a daily basis? If economists judge the health of the country's economy based on retail sales, should we use the same assessment for our own purchases? The book makes no judgment either way -- she simply notes her own purchasing habits." -- Tina Barseghian --San Francisco Gate Blog, April 14, 2010

"I have to say that it is a GREAT book. I love everything about it. The look. The feel. The fact that it seems like someone's personal sketchbook that has been painstakingly categorized, that I've had the opportunity to flip through. But above all what I love is that I can relate to Kate's need and want to pay her debt down and her need and want to still purchase everyday items, necessities and treats for herself. It's an earnest, thoughtful process that she so candidly shares with us." -- Meighan O'Toole --My Love For You, March 30, 2010

"Obsessive Consumption: What Did you Buy Today? (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010), by Kate Bingaman-Burt, represents a selection of three years worth of the authors annotated drawings of her purchases including wedding bands, beer, a dog, and, of course, drawing supplies." -- Joshua Glenn --Significant Objects, March 12, 2010

"Kate-Bingaman-Burt is an infectious maker, contagious spirit, and unbelievable teacher. Her book, Obsessive Consumption: What Did you Buy Today?, showcases 3 years of her ink drawings of her sundry purchases. Its published by Princeton Architectural Press and not only is it the perfect size, it also smells really good." -- Will Bryant --Go To Public School, April 8, 2010

"It's always interesting to see what makes it into her shopping cart in a non-skeezy, voyeuristic kind of way. You really learn a lot about the human condition." -- Tina Jett --Scatterbox, April 12, 2010

"Now available in book format, Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? is artist Kate Bingaman-Burt's winsomely self-conscious take on transparency and consumer culture." -- Laura Nellson --Cool Hunting, April 16, 2010

"Because buying it is delightfully meta..." --Daily Candy, April 8, 2010

"Kate is an original, her ideas are unique and one-of-a-kind. Her thoughts behind her daily drawings is brilliant, her dedication to persevere has to be acknowledged and her work is inspiring. The book, part diary, part sketchbook takes us through a selection of her daily purchase drawings, most of which are mundane things such as toothpaste, laundry soap and band-aids; but through this journey of purchasing the mundane (and sometimes splurges) we connect. We draw comfort in the familiar, the beautiful lines and patterns in her drawings and hand lettering and we feel better about our own personal consumerism and maybe laugh at ourselves or perhaps even find something new about ourselves we didn't know. A cool book to ponder." --Poppytalk, April 15, 2010

"Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? (Princeton Architectural Press) is a collection of daily purchase drawings Portland-based designer Kate Bingaman-Burt has created since 2006. In her hand, sketches of mundane objects are transformed into engaging statements on consumerism, spending, budgeting, celebration, indulgence, and of course, guilt." --13 of the Best Design Books of 2010, Fast Company

About the Author

Kate Bingaman-Burt is an assistant professor of graphic design at Portland State University. She is a founding partner of the Public Design Center. Her work has been featured in the New York Times; in numerous magazines, including Print, Adorn, Dwell, and How; and in books including Hand Job and Handmade Nation.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (March 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568988907
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568988900
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,219,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't know Kate Bingaman-Burt personally but I'm a big fan of her daily purchase drawings -- her Obsessive Consumption blog is a daily must-read for me, and her awesome zines hold a special place on my home office bookshelves -- so I was thrilled to learn she was coming out with a book version of her work. I am happy to say that not only does this book not disappoint; it far exceeds expectations!

At first glance Obsessive Consumption is a commentary on ... well, consumption, and how what we buy defines us, but when you really sit down with this book in your hands you can see that it's so much more than that. It's also more than just a collection of pretty drawings; it's really a diary of sorts. The book is arranged in chronological order and by reading it through from beginning to end, you get a timeline of a couple of years of the author's life. From wedding rings to moving boxes to a shelter dog, from plane tickets to rental cars to parking tickets, from cups of coffee to convenience store snacks to simple toiletry items, the reader travels along with Bingaman-Burt as she navigates a marriage, a cross-country move and a job change. It's refreshingly honest, astonishingly revealing, and never boring.

Content aside, this is such a nicely made book. It's divided into sections and each section's drawings are printed in a different color of ink. The paper is satisfyingly thick and substantial, making for a nice crisp print on every page. The layout of the pages is very attractive too, with the perfect amount of white space so the different drawings don't get jumbled together. Occasional pages have the color scheme reversed -- white print against a colored background.
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Oh me oh my...love this one...even though I bought for my husband. I sort of snatched it away from him and now I use it! It's just a great way to track the stuff that you buy. I didn't enjoy doing this at first but now I sort of like if!
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If you're reading this i'm guessing you've seen some of Kate Bingaman-Burt's wonderful drawings (and if you've not seek a sample or three out Now). Having had the pleasure of seeing some of the 'Obsessive Consumption' drawings before the thought of a book-format compilation seemed like a great idea - only i couldn't have known just How truly perfect a Book is for these works and this is what delivers the Untold Pleasure mentioned in the title of this review.

There's a slow-burning mystery-unfolding feeling as you turn the pages of this collection: you'll start to feel like you have a notion of who the author is by voyeuristically viewing her purchases. It's almost as if a Great Fictional Character somehow arises from an utterly Non-fiction documentation and zero actual Plot.

There are tiny notes about certain purchases that are (often inexplicably) laugh out loud funny (why is it a joy to see a drawing of shoes bought for a wedding and learn they were not eventually used? I don't know either but it's a pleasure indeed)

In a world of entertainment options verging on overload 'Obsessive Consumption' is a subtle yet complex experience. I knew I'd like this book but I didn't realize I'd Love it. CONSUME THIS BOOK!
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Now this is really an interesting and creative way to develop awareness of consumption and get out of debt. Her book is a testimony to making a public commitment to manage her money better. As she was quoted recently..she had 25K worth of credit card debt....her friend asked her.."Where is the diamond tiara or the sportscar you must have bought with that?" Well she spent it on....the little things she draws..she referred to her debt as a ball of shame and then went public with it. Great idea....Dr. Mary Gresham
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Kate has created an entirely new genre in the visual arts. She draws everything she buys... including sales receipts! It gives one pause about one's daily drawing might become.
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