Shopping can become a natural addiction. The notion of buy, buy, buy can become an all too easy way to acquire temporary happiness by more purchasing and consuming more, aggregating useless and unwanted goods that go to waste.
But it is waste that is the magic word, buying unwanted paraphernalia for its own sake.
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella ( Dell 2001) is about Becky Bloomwood, a London financial journalist who can't stop buying clothes, makeup and more other things that she does not really want.
This is what makes her happy away from her boring, uninteresting job, it is going down the big department store, trying things on and buying with the plastic.
At times the book is hilariously funny, a novel that has been made into a motion picture. What adds to the tale is the very British humor, at times one sits at the edge of his seat laughing, amused at the dialogue in the first person.
Becky, short of Rebecca, is a sure one for becoming a shopaholic, aided and abetted by the the credit cards and easy finance that lures so many people into buying and living beyond their means. In that respect it's a depiction of modern living which we all entered at some point in our life.
The debt keeps piling up and the money men, the bank and the credit companies start hounding her to pay her dues which she continues to ignore by conveniently misplacing the letters that arrive from them and avoiding their phone calls.
For the time being, she is living the high life. While making an effort to reform, she actually ends up in more debt by buying stuff she doesn't really need, starts to lie about her situation and buys more under the delusion she will be saving and cutting down in the long-run.
For a good while she avoids her creditors until one day her plastic cards are withdrawn in a humiliating situation she no longer bears.
In a further attempt at the avoidance of the bank manager, she goes home and tries to lock herself in but meets the neighbors who lost what they would have been entitled to if they had not switched funds at the last minute.
They previously sought her advice about the deal, and at the time, she didn't care to give the 'correct' advice because of her sloppiness, and which she felt she was partly responsible for.
Smelling a rat, she contacts one of her journalist friend in a mass circulation daily, and they agree to run a story which Becky would write about the neighbors and how they might have been swindled out of their money. The story is a success, and this starts a chain of events that takes Becky to television and becomes an expert on money matters.
This is the climax that makes Becky into a born-again responsible person having had no previous enthusiasm about her job except for her 'aristocratically rich' flatmate and a couple of others.
We get an insight into the workings of journalism that border on the cynical and the high life of champagne and other goodies to lure journalists and reporters into writing favorably about different companies. A must read for all, put together in an amusing framework.