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Shopping Detox Book Club: Confessions of a Shopaholic

Grace Kelly proves that a lady in glasses, reading a book, is the most fabulous thing ever!

Hey, guys! So, as a librarian, book podcaster, and overall book superfan, it's crazy that I haven't done this yet. It's... the Shopping Detox Book Club! Like the Oprah Book Club, but... well, mine. And you don't have to read along with me, but feel free to! Because the books I choose will all be really fun and good.

I'm currently re-reading Sophie Kinsella's Confessions of a Shopaholic, which changed my life a little when I first read it in 2003. For the first time, I could totally, one hundred percent relate to a book character. I mean, OK, she was older than me and British, but the way that she approached shopping - that buying a gorgeous scarf was literally life and death, that she was unable to imagine her life without this item - was so me.

We will not be discussing the tragic 2009 film.
Isla Fisher has great hair, and that's all I can say about that.

I like the first two sequels quite a lot (Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, and Shopaholic Ties the Knot.) I'm still a huge fan of Sophie Kinsella's other books, but the subsequent Shopaholic books (Shopaholic & Sister, Shopaholic & Baby, Mini Shopaholic) just don't interest me as much. Eventually, the plotlines turned into "And Becky had yet another secret credit card that she hadn't told anyone about, and so she gets into debt yet again, blah blah blah..."

So anyway. I'm rereading the first book from my new vantage point as an adult and reformed shopaholic. When I first read the books, Becky was older than me and seemed worldly and grown-up. Now I'm older than she was, and can now see many differences between her and me... and also many similarities.

Marilyn Monroe, famous bookworm, also looks super glam reading.

Having read the first three chapters, I can report that:

1) I'm way more on top of my finances than Becky is. She begins the book getting a credit card statement that takes her totally off-guard, and she slowly remembers making all of those purchases. Whereas I obsessively keep track of my finances, keeping track of every dollar that goes in and out. I would never buy a $400 area rug and then forget about it, for instance. So, already, I'm somewhat more capable than Becky, right?

2) Things have changed a lot in the past 10 years. In 2003, Becky forgot her credit card at work and so has to desperately run to an ATM to get enough cash to buy a scarf she really wants (and, in so doing, winds up borrowing money from dreamy Luke Brandon, her love interest throughout the series).

These days, it's no big deal to use debit to pay for items. I never use my credit card at all anymore since debit is way more convenient. So, it's easier to buy stuff but at the same time, spending cash from your bank account is a better habit than using a credit card.

3) In some ways, I'm more similar to Becky now that I was 10 years ago. Becky works as a journalist for a financial magazine, which is not a job she ever wanted to get. She wanted to get into fashion and beauty magazines, but wound up writing for Successful Saving.

And I'm writing a personal finance blog, which is not something I ever thought I would be doing. When I started Shopping Detox last year, I thought it was going to be a fashion blog - but it's turned into a finance website.

The crucial difference is that I realize I'm not any good with money. Becky, meanwhile, passes herself off as a financial expert - which is going to lead to her downfall, once her personal finance issues come to light.

Have you read the first Shopaholic book? Are you a fan of Sophie Kinsella's hilarious, fun books?

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