To Buy or not To Buy – April Lane Benson, Phd #bookreview

This book took me a while to read. It’s a simple enough book and like some, not full of jargon and psycho-babble but it doesn’t hook you in enough to be one you can’t put down. I often put it to one side to go read something else.

I saw a review that said it was only for people with addictions to shopping and wouldn’t suit anyone else. Well, first the book is aimed solely at over-shoppers so that makes sense to me that it would only be suitable for those people (me formerly included). However for me I think the content would also be suitable for over-eaters and maybe other addictions as well. Not the whole book but you can fit it in to other issues. There are plenty of sections about re-building confidence, mindfulness (more on that in a second) and discovering just why you do the thing you do whether that is buying too much, eating too much, drinking too much..

There are exercises to do and a shopping journal to keep helping you track how you are spending money and hopefully start spotting patterns of behaviour. My favourite one is an exercise to find out your 5 biggest strengths and then use them in some way more positive than overspending. Examples used include a woman whose strength was creativity and joined some pottery classes. She then channelled her energies into making gifts. Other strengths may not be so obvious but it does give you some things to think about.

The bit that I found niggling was the chapter on mindfulness. I have no problem with it and have tried it myself. However it’s starting to feel like the therapy du-jour and like every self help book has it tacked on in an effort to cash in. It’s just not original anymore to see it in a book and I’d like to see a bit more variety.

Overall I enjoyed this book. It’s not the best self help book I’ve read but it does provide some interesting insights into people’s behaviour and I, for one, learnt a few things about mine.

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