Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Urge to Splurge: A Social History of Shopping Paperback – October 1, 2003
Excel 2016 For Dummies Video Training
Discover what Excel can do for you with self-paced video lessons from For Dummies. Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
Laura Byrne Paquet, a Canadian writer of romance fiction and Ottawa guide books, gives no hint of the distinctive (and different) styles that normally accompany both romance novels and travel writing. The tone here is conversational, even casual, while being very informative.
The Urge to Splurge covers Tupperware parties, Avon ladies, mail order shopping, TV infomercials, online shopping, compulsive shopping disorder, kleptomania, shoplifting, the differences between men and women shoppers, malls, markets, bargaining, eBay, department stores, and more. You'll learn about the transition from bargaining to fixed prices. Paquet tells us about the first escalator in Britain, which was in Harrod's and had no steps. "It was just a conveyor belt, so thrill-seeking passengers who dared to get on had to hang onto handrails for dear life." Yikes.
I was reminded that it was only a few decades ago that Sunday shopping was even possible in most places in North America and Britain. Long after Sunday shopping was the norm in the States, my husband and I spent a month in London and were disappointed to find that nothing was open on Sundays. After the first few restless Sundays, we started planning ahead, finding the few museums and shops that were open on Sunday afternoons, and eventually found ourselves looking forward to Sundays as the day when we could walk the streets and parks of London without the noise of the weekday traffic.Read more ›
Buying and selling, she reminds us, are as old as human existence. The earliest farms meant surplus - "extra grain could be traded for a neighbour's goat", says Paquet. From these early exchanges, Paquet moves through market stalls and fairs, a commercial method lasting many centuries. "Shop", she explains, is a term going back to the 13th Century, but "shopping" had to wait until George III's era. "Shopper" took another century to become current. A reluctant shopper herself, Paquet leavens her "social history" with some lively personal experiences. A "Ladies Night In" at Holt-Renfrew in downtown Ottawa proved a breath-taking experience. The promotion line was perfume and sampling excesses drove her outside into the night air. The free martinis might have helped force the exit.
Shopping is a two-sided affair. Paquet cleverly portrays the problems of bringing seller and buyer together for a successful transaction. Small towns had fairs and permanent shops for centuries in the Old World and the New. Buyers rarely had far to go, but selection was limited. Factory-made goods overturned long-established shopping patterns in many ways. The goods were cheaper, meaning more people could buy them.Read more ›