Thursday, May 21, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic

This write-up is intended to be about the book. But first -

Shopaholic in Denial
I am not a shopaholic. No, I am not. I may be a sleepaholic, a procrastinataholic, even an occassional workaholic if you will (though I resent that) - but definitely not a shopaholic. I seldom go shopping, and when I do, I do not buy uncontrollably or indiscriminately. I am fashion-and-style illiterate, so I do not get urges to restock / update my wardrobe every so often, nor do I give in to impulse buying when it comes to clothes, shoes, make-up, well, the likes. But, put me in a bookstore and - argh!

I know I get carried away so easily - I pick up a best-selling title, then I see another lesser-known title by the same author, and I think, why not? I pick it up, read the synopsis, and I think, now, isn't that interesting? Wouldn't that make an excellent read? And look - a beautiful box-set of 3 books by another best-selling author. It sure is cheaper to get that, than getting the 3 books individually. And here is one of the titles in my shopping list - check! And here's another, and another, and what is this? A book on Victor Frankenstein? About how he got his dead bodies for his experiments? That spells a must-read for me!

Before I knew it, my basket was full - yes, they provide shopping baskets in bookstores these days. It's a good thing they don't provide trolleys, like those hypermarkets do, or I'd..... I shudder to think what I'd likely do. As it was, I didn't want to think about how much I'd be spending on that basketful I'd accumulated. However, I had a little unexpected extra reward in my way last weekend - it was the season of Teachers' Day, and the store was giving an RM5 voucher for every RM50 spent by teachers. Any sort of teachers, anyone who can prove they are in the teaching profession.

Now, I am usually very reluctant to disclose my occupation to strangers. It could be the look they always give me (ie. "This little girl teaches in a university?!") or the false impressions they always conceive (ie. "She must be a genius!" or "What an easy, relaxing, stress-free working life she must enjoy!"). But, an RM5 voucher for every RM50 spent? Equivalent to a 10% rebate on the total? Here - this is my employee ID, have a good look and give me those vouchers! For instances like this alone, one should always carry one's staff and / or student ID(s) at all times!

And now -

Confessions of a Shopaholic
I have known the existence of this book long enough, and had always known it to be a best-seller. I just wasn't sure if I was actually into "chick-lit", as these types of prose are described. But the recent movie, and incidents of friends openly drooling at Hugh Dancy's Luke Brandon sparked more interest than I cared to admit. So I got a copy of the book; I got a copy of the book on Sunday, started reading it on Monday, and was finished by Wednesday. It was an extremely easy read - very, very light, and well, entertaining, I should add. You just shut three-quarters of your brain down and go on and on and on.

It was a very enjoyable read, although the protagonist, Rebecca Bloomwood, funny, imaginative and endearing as she is, nearly lost my sympathy halfway through. It was really amusing at first, the way she was in denial all the time: avoiding those mounting bills and letter from banks, and spinning tales to hide the truth she can't face. But then, she started spiralling out of control, and while that was still OK by me, the lying wasn't. She told a small lie, then another to cover the first, and another and another, and the worst part was, some of these lies were just not necessary, in my opinion. It was like she was addicted to making up stories, just as she was addicted to shopping.

Luke Brandon was a character of special interest to me when I started, because a friend had mentioned that he is the "perfect guy" in the book. It was therefore, a disappointment to find that he is nothing close to what I had imagined he would be. Perhaps it was due to the nature of the first-person narration - none of the characters were very well-developed at all. From the book, I couldn't get a satisfactory picture of Luke Brandon - not his general physical appearance, not his personality, least of all his style. It isn't clear how Rebecca is attracted to him, and even less clear what in Rebecca he loves. Perhaps I ought to read the subsequent books to find out?

I have not seen the movie as yet, though I am sure it is as good as my friends said it was. I mean - how difficult can it be to make a chick-flick out of a chick-lit? Add in tonnes of lovely clothes, shoes, bags and a gorgeous hunk - what can go wrong? I read somewhere that the movie is quite different from the book - but hey, tonnes of lovely clothes, shoes, bags and a gorgeous hunk: nothing can go wrong - no matter what.

In conclusion - nothing beats relaxing on the couch with an entertaining chick-lit. And I need to write about all the other reads that I'd read but not written about...


Seline said...

The subsequent books will leave you feeling the same way...I know.

neil said...

I haven't read any of the subsequent books yet (but I'd cheated by reading the synopsis on wikipedia) :P