Thoughts on Consumerism.

“We buy things that we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people who we don’t like.”

I haven’t been at a Mall in a while and I must say that I did not miss it at all. The other day, this insanity of consumerism and shopping hit me hard when I had to walk through a Mall to get to the Museum. All these different smells, stores, clothes and beauty parlors that are designed to catch the buyers interest and sell, sell, sell. For myself, less is more and shopping is not my hobby anymore for years now. What I splurged on was books. I was not able to leave a bookstore without at least buying one (let’s be honest here: rather 3-4!!!) book(s).The emphasis is on the word “was”. I am on a I-don’t-buy-books-for TWO-months-strike and so far it is amazing. With this in mind, I cleaned out my bookshelf with this rather shocking result that I haven’t read a myriad of books. I simply bought more and piled them all up for whatever reason. In hindsight, it makes no sense really, since this addiction to add new books to the bookshelf will never stop. Too many books, not enough time and books and new books are published daily. There are just too many books out there that are recommended on a daily basis through the media; it feels and seems so natural to just add more and more. This depiction sums up my bookshelf pretty well:

I also unsubscribed from many book review and new book release pages online since it became really insane. What next? I will simply read the books I haven’t read yet (approximately 25 or so!) which should keep me occupied for way longer than two months. Proposal, Thesis work and university readings add up as well. Honestly, who do I want to impress with my bookshelf? Nobody. I love books, yes, but just piling up to admire this bookshelf and not reading the ever-growing pile of new ones does not work for me anymore. 

Why do people buy more and more? Whatever this may be (clothing, make-up, books etc.)? Usually, to satisfy unfulfilled desires I believe. What are mine? Desire of knowledge? Many years ago, I used to buy expensive clothing because I wanted to belong which makes as much sense as watching the Bachelor or trying to figure out sense and meaning in a communication two people have in any Talkshow. Media tells me daily that we need to get this and that to be happy. You need to read this book of X,Y and Z and you need the overpriced lipstick by Chanel, you need a Sixpack so join this gym and you definitely need this fast car to be someone. Are we happy? I know I was happy initially when I bought the book but as soon as I came home, I piled it silently to my “to-read” stack. The item loses meaning pretty quickly. Every time. 

I won’t avoid bookstores and I will still buy things; however, I pay more attention to what I buy. Do I really need this book and is it worth the purchase? Will I actually read it? I also stop contemplating if there is anything better out there. Unrest and dissatisfaction and this urge to look for new things does not work for me anymore either. So I change to find focus in more important things that make me happy;  like calmness, silence (Quality time doing nothing) and love for the simple things (playing in the park with my son) with a somewhat freedom of social constraints and pressure. 

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