What happens when shopping becomes a compulsion? In a new memoir, journalist Avis Cardella talks about conquering her own shopping demons and overcoming crippling debt.
You could win a copy of Spent: just check out our Q&A with Cardella on BookPage.com and tell us one of the ways Cardella’s shopping habits have changed since she beat her addiction.
From the Q&A:
There have been many compulsive shoppers throughout history, from Mary Todd Lincoln to Princess Di. Which do you most identify with, and why?
I can relate to many compulsive shoppers in different ways, but the shopper I feel I most identify with is Andy Warhol. Warhol was a compulsive shopper and something of a hoarder. Upon his death, his apartment was discovered to be over run with “stuff” including many unopened shopping bags.
However, this isn’t why I relate to Warhol. I relate to Warhol because his art is based on desire and therefore on commerce. He understood commerce in this way—and he understood consuming. This to me is thoroughly modern. Even though there have been reports of compulsive shoppers in the past, I think of this addiction as being modern. The scaffolds of social and economic supports that exist for a shopping addict to thrive are fascinating: easy credit, status chasing, shopping as entertainment, mall culture, are a few examples.