James Wallman (Viking) 2015, 358pp, RRP $29.99

The title may suggest that this book offers an easy way to declutter your house but it’s so much more than that. It’s a wide-ranging look at the over-consumption of western societies, and a clarion call to replace materialism with experiences for a richer life. Stuffocation - James Wallman - Penguin Books - The Clothesline

Stuffocation makes you question your motivations for undertaking an experience. Are you doing it for its own sake? Or maybe to impress people? Unsurprisingly, author James Wallman reports how the former – an intrinsic experience – is generally more rewarding. Even then experiences aren’t immune to status anxiety: especially where Facebook is concerned, but the authors argue that experiences are still richer overall.

The book doesn’t preach anti-capitalism or anti-consumerism – suggesting instead how having too much of the wrong kinds of stuff can be detrimental to your life. At the back of the book is a three-step practical plan for experientialism, two of these being simply ‘Destuffocate’ and ‘Don’t restuffocate’. A further section called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Experientialists provides a manifesto for those really committed to overhauling their lives.

Jenny Thompson

This title is available through the Penguin Books Australia website. Click HERE to purchase your copy.

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