Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Material Girl

Yesterday I was running a bunch of errands.  I wanted to get them all done in a row, but I knew that one in particular might require me to wait.  I needed to get my watch repaired and the only place that I knew of that specialized in such a feat opened later.  I ended up completing all my other errands and knew that I had a half an hour until the repair person showed up.  The shop is in the mall, and I thought it would be good to get in some light exercise by walking around window shopping. 

At the end of the mall there's an entrance into a chain bookstore that I hadn't been inside of in years.  They were open, unlike practically all of the mall shops, so I went inside this two story shop and walked around.

I was amazed at how the store is so different.  Not only was it filled with a coffee shop, books, magazines, and writing paraphernalia, but when I went up to the top level where they keep the children's books, they had aisles of toys.  I was surprised because for a second I thought that I had walked into a children's toy boutique not a chain bookstore.  Downstairs also housed adult games, and there was another section for music and movies.

I patiently checked my phone for the time, and when it was getting close, I promptly walked out without purchasing a thing.

Oh, don't get me wrong. It's very tempting in a store like that, but I had gone in knowing that I would refrain despite the glamour.

In truth, I haven't purchased a dvd in a long time.  Not even an electronic download of a dvd.  I also haven't purchased any music- either hard copy or digital- in a long time.  I was fascinated that records are making a come back however.  Books are a different story, but I end up purchasing very few of them.

There's really no need for me to purchase dvds or music.  I can watch movies through netflix, the library, or the occasional redbox rental.  Music is easy to listen to either over the radio, through an app, or an online radio station.  Finding religious themed stuff can be difficult, although sometimes churches have their own library and will allow you to borrow things. Hard- to- find religious stuff would be my only reason for making a purchase at all.  Secular stuff is far easier to find in abundance.

I end up checking out most of my books from the library, and I only purchase what I need for Bible study. 

My husband and I ended up downsizing our dvd collection and our book collection before we moved.  He's not much of a reader anyway so he's using his book shelf mostly for games, which is his hobby.  I read a bit more so I have a few more books.

And I'm happy.  I can say that I don't need to walk into a bookstore anymore.  It's just a way that I can say "no" to the consumerism rat race.  Not to say that I don't consume.  That's not true.  I'm just more conscious of what it is I'm purchasing and why.  In the consumer rat race, we are told that possessions make us happy, powerful, better, etc.  Just look at all the flashy advertising in the bookstore.  They had whole sections with the heading "For your book collection."  I smiled inwardly because I don't really want a huge book collection, and to make matters more complicated, I know that all those classic titles can be found at my library. They are very common classic titles and nothing special. Why do I want a book all to myself anyway?  I'd rather have a person have the opportunity to share in the joy of particular title, which is why supporting my public library rather than building a personal one seems more important to me.

I'm so glad I found out about minimalism and how it relates to detaching oneself from ones material possessions.  I feel like I spend more time focusing on what's more important: Jesus and family.

If you are interested in minimalism Netflix has a documentary on the subject.  It's really good.  Happy decluttering!

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