REVIEW: Stuffocation by James Wallman

A possible New Year's resolution...


James Wallman wants you to tidy up your wardrobe. And your drawers. And your cupboards. And your… well, everything really.

Arguing that suffocation through belongings is a major cause for modern disgruntlement, he sets out the alternatives. Such extreme steps as minimalism (“Pass me the fork dear, it’s my turn to eat.”) and simple living (“Pass me the catapult darling, the goat’s making a break for freedom.”) are dismissed in favour of ‘experientialism’, the philosophy of valuing experience over belongings. Which is perfectly sensible.

Just to be clear: this means we can still buy books, music and blu-rays (my wife’s momentary surge of excitement on seeing me read Wallman’s book just died) because they offer experiences beyond their physical form.

It’s a simple and attractive proposition, engagingly put across, and I can’t imagine many people would disagree with it. There is, after all, a limit to how many socks one can own.

Just make sure you pass the book on to someone else once you’ve read it.

Penguin, available now.

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