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Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? Paperback – Mar 17 2010
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About the Author
Kate Bingaman-Burt is an assistant professor of graphic design at Portland State University. She is a founding partner of the Public Design Center. Her work has been featured in the New York Times; in numerous magazines, including Print, Adorn, Dwell, and How; and in books including Hand Job and Handmade Nation.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
At first glance Obsessive Consumption is a commentary on ... well, consumption, and how what we buy defines us, but when you really sit down with this book in your hands you can see that it's so much more than that. It's also more than just a collection of pretty drawings; it's really a diary of sorts. The book is arranged in chronological order and by reading it through from beginning to end, you get a timeline of a couple of years of the author's life. From wedding rings to moving boxes to a shelter dog, from plane tickets to rental cars to parking tickets, from cups of coffee to convenience store snacks to simple toiletry items, the reader travels along with Bingaman-Burt as she navigates a marriage, a cross-country move and a job change. It's refreshingly honest, astonishingly revealing, and never boring.
Content aside, this is such a nicely made book. It's divided into sections and each section's drawings are printed in a different color of ink. The paper is satisfyingly thick and substantial, making for a nice crisp print on every page. The layout of the pages is very attractive too, with the perfect amount of white space so the different drawings don't get jumbled together. Occasional pages have the color scheme reversed -- white print against a colored background. My only criticism of the book is that I found some of the small print in Section Two, which is printed in a yellow-orange ink on a white background, difficult to read.
All in all a beautiful and oddly compelling book, one that I will look at again and again because those simple line drawings just make me so darn happy!
There's a slow-burning mystery-unfolding feeling as you turn the pages of this collection: you'll start to feel like you have a notion of who the author is by voyeuristically viewing her purchases. It's almost as if a Great Fictional Character somehow arises from an utterly Non-fiction documentation and zero actual Plot.
There are tiny notes about certain purchases that are (often inexplicably) laugh out loud funny (why is it a joy to see a drawing of shoes bought for a wedding and learn they were not eventually used? I don't know either but it's a pleasure indeed)
In a world of entertainment options verging on overload 'Obsessive Consumption' is a subtle yet complex experience. I knew I'd like this book but I didn't realize I'd Love it. CONSUME THIS BOOK!