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I Want That!: How We All Became Shoppers by…
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I Want That!: How We All Became Shoppers (2002)

by Thomas Hine

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1221155,162 (3.44)3
"Choosing and using objects is a primal human activity, and I Want That! is nothing less than a portrait of humanity as the species that shops. We shop to nourish our bodies and to feed our fantasies. We shop to belong to groups. We shop to define ourselves as individuals. We shop to be powerful. We shop to be responsible. We shop to celebrate. We shop because we don't want to miss out on the excitement of Life. I Want That! shows how these fundamental desires play out in today's malls, Web sites, boutiques, and superstores." "The book also offers a lively, fast-paced history of finding, choosing, and spending. It makes stops in the crossroads markets in which prehistoric merchants traded gold, amber, and obsidian; in the agora in Athens, where sharp sellers wet their wool to make it weigh more, and everyone name to buy, talk, eat, and get their hair done. It visits the great fairs of medieval times - brief gaudy moments in monotonous, laborious lives - and it considers the cities of Renaissance Europe, where shopping districts and the idea of individual expression arose side by side. It demonstrates how one simple idea - manufacturing garments that were ready to wear - brought the explosive growth of department stores and turned cities into vast shopping centers. It continues the story to the age of the Internet, when the buying never seems to stop, and, in times of crisis, political leaders tout shopping, not sacrifice, as the act of patriots."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
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» See also 3 mentions

I Want That! is a surprisingly readable and entertaining treatise on shopping. It's a history book with humor an insight into a very basic human activity. Author Thomas Hine also explores how sales tactics and marketing emerged over time, drawing more and more shoppers into the web that is the market place.

Though it was published over a decade ago, the author is already familiar with online shopping and the invasion of privacy issues that soon follow. He also explores the economic impact of Christmas and how it has moved away from its spiritual roots to a season of shopping that has an impact on not only local, but the global economy.

Reading this book is almost like reading a sociology book. One enjoys discovering how trends in tastes emerge, affect fashions, housing, and just as quickly, render the fashionable passe' and call for something new and different.

This was one of those non-fiction book club reads that I really enjoyed...again, one I would never have picked up without a nudge from a friend. (Thanks, Jan H.!) If you see it at Half Price, its a dollar well spent! ( )
  vcg610 | Feb 5, 2015 |
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For Beth, a shopping companion who always made me see new things.
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I noticed the old woman as soon as I drove into the Wal-Mart parking lot.
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