Stuffocation: Why We've Had Enough of Stuff and Need Experience More Than Ever

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Mar 17, 2015 - Business & Economics - 320 pages
28 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
Stuffocation is a movement manifesto for “experiential” living, a call to arms to stop accumulating stuff and start accumulating experiences, and a road map for a new way forward with the potential to transform our lives.

Reject materialism. Embrace experientialism. Live more with less.
Stuffocation is one of the most pressing problems of the twenty-first century. We have more stuff than we could ever need, and it isn’t making us happier. It’s bad for the planet. It’s cluttering up our homes. It’s making us stressed—and it might even be killing us.
A rising number of us are already turning our backs on all-you-can-get consumption. We are choosing access over ownership, and taking our business to companies like Zipcar, Spotify, and Netflix. Fed up with materialism, we are ready for a new way forward.
Trend forecaster James Wallman traces our obsession with stuff back to the original Mad Men, who first created desire through advertising. He interviews anthropologists studying the clutter crisis, economists searching for new ways of measuring progress, and psychologists who link stuffocation to declining well-being. And he introduces us to the innovators who are already living more consciously and with more meaning by choosing experience over stuff.
Experientialism does not mean giving up all of our possessions. It is a solution that is less extreme but equally fundamental. It’s about transforming what we value. Stuffocation is a paradigm-shifting look at our habits and an inspiring call for living more with less. It’s the one important book you won’t be able to live without.
Praise for Stuffocation
“The revelations come fast and furious as he asserts that acquiring ‘stuff’ is often just an easy way to ignore the tougher questions of life, dodging ‘why am I here?’ and ‘how should I live?’ for ‘will that go with the top I bought last week?’ Tart and often funny . . . [Stuffocation] will be an eye-opener for those long ago persuaded that more is better. A scintillating read that will provoke conversation (or at least closet cleaning).”Booklist

“James Wallman deftly hits upon a major insight for our times: that acquiring ‘stuff’ and ‘things’ is not nearly as meaningful as collecting experiences. Some of the happiest days of my life were when I had nothing and lived on a houseboat. Without stuff to tie me down, I felt completely free.”—Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS and author of the New York Times bestseller Start Something That Matters
“A must-read . . . We think that more stuff will make us happier, but as the book nicely shows, we’re just plain wrong. A great mix of stories and science, Stuffocation reveals the downside of more, and what we can do about it.”—Jonah Berger, author of the New York Times bestseller Contagious
“Wallman offers a deeply important message by weaving contemporary social science into very engaging stories. Reading the book is such a pleasure that you hardly recognize you’re being told that you should change how you live your life.”—Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice
“With a sociologist’s eye and a storyteller’s ear, Wallman takes us on a tour of today’s experience economy from the perspective not of businesses, nor even of consumers per se, but of everyday people.”—B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, authors of The Experience Economy

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dmturner - LibraryThing

Nothing particularly earth shattering here. Reviews the arguments for materialism, the simple life, and minimalism, with a fair number of anecdotes. Plumps for something he calls experientalism, which ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - davisfamily - LibraryThing

Interesting subject, did seem to drag on with the fact finding. The book got really boring about half way through. Read full review


Weve Had Enough of Stuff
The Original Mad Men and the Job of Creating Desire
Barbra Streisand and the Law of Unintended
The Simple Life and the CageFree Family
The Medium Chill
To Do or to Have? That Is No Longer a Question
Facebook Changed How We Keep Up with the Joneses
The New Way to Measure Progress
What About the Chinese?
The Gypsy the Wasp and the Experience Economy
Can You Be an Experientialist and Still Love Stuff?
Why You Need Experience More Than Ever

The Experientialists

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2015)

James Wallman is a trend forecaster, journalist, and speaker who has written for The New York Times, GQ, Fast Company, and the Financial Times. His clients include Absolut, BMW, Burberry, and Nike. He has an MA in classics from Oxford University and an MA in journalism from the University of the Arts London. He has lived in France, Greece, and Palo Alto, California, and currently lives in London with his wife and two children.

Bibliographic information