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Stuffocation: Why We've Had Enough of Stuff and Need Experience More Than Ever Hardcover – March 17, 2015
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“The revelations come fast and furious as he asserts that acquiring ‘stuff’ is often just an easy way to ignore the tougher questions of life, dodging ‘why am I here?’ and ‘how should I live?’ for ‘will that go with the top I bought last week?’ Tart and often funny . . . [Stuffocation] will be an eye-opener for those long ago persuaded that more is better. A scintillating read that will provoke conversation (or at least closet cleaning).”—Booklist
“James Wallman deftly hits upon a major insight for our times: that acquiring ‘stuff’ and ‘things’ is not nearly as meaningful as collecting experiences. Some of the happiest days of my life were when I had nothing and lived on a houseboat. Without stuff to tie me down, I felt completely free.”—Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS and author of the New York Times bestseller Start Something That Matters
“Stuffocation is a must-read. We think that more stuff will make us happier, but as the book nicely shows, we’re just plain wrong. A great mix of stories and science, Stuffocation reveals the downside of more, and what we can do about it.”—Jonah Berger, author of the New York Times bestseller Contagious
“In Stuffocation, James Wallman offers a deeply important message by weaving contemporary social science into very engaging stories. Reading the book is such a pleasure that you hardly recognize you’re being told that you should change how you live your life.”—Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice
“With a sociologist’s eye and a storyteller’s ear, James Wallman takes us on a tour of today’s experience economy from the perspective not of businesses, nor even of consumers per se, but of everyday people. In doing so, he identifies the rise of a new value system among those who are consciously replacing materialism with what he rightly calls experientialism. Spot on.”—B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, authors of The Experience Economy
“Stuffocation explains how less but better stuff and space can lead to more time, more experiences, more connecting with people, and therefore more happiness. Designed right, small is the new big.”—Graham Hill, founder, LifeEdited.com and TreeHugger.com
About the Author
James Wallman is a trend forecaster, journalist, and speaker who has written for The New York Times, GQ, Fast Company, and the Financial Times. His clients include Absolut, BMW, Burberry, and Nike. He has an MA in classics from Oxford University and an MA in journalism from the University of the Arts London. He has lived in France, Greece, and Palo Alto, California, and currently lives in London with his wife and two children.
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"Stuffocation." According to Wallman, in order to be happy and fulfilled, you need to spend your resources on experiences, not stuff. While I found Wallman's ideas more realistic than those that suggest reducing my worldly possessions to a random number or limiting the clothes in my wardrobe to less than my age, I don't know that pursuing experiences will make a person any happier than pursuing stuff. The reason? The best experience, the ones that give life joy and meaning, aren't bought and sold. Hiking along the river with my kids is free, as is cuddling with them on a couch reading a book. We can play Frisbee in the park or sing songs of worship in a church. None of those things cost a penny. While I agree experience trumps stuff, it is relationship that trumps them both. Friendships require the investment of energy and time, not money, so it isn't something that can be measured in economic terms. Our economic is changing from mere material to experiential, but neither economy will bring happiness. To suggest otherwise is foolish.
I agree with his concluding paragraph, "We have got enough, and we have had enough of stuff. We are realizing that, to live a life that is meaningful, to shake our tail feathers, and to be happy in the 21st century - you, me, and society in general - we all need experience more than ever."
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I don't have five more words, amazon.