Reading group questions

These have been developed after consultation with people I know in reading groups: my Mum, Jenni Sorrell, and my friend, Serena Davies. I began with a list of 47 questions (yes, embarrassing to admit), and they both told me to pipe down and cut the list.

“Send me five and I’ll read them!” Serena wrote me in an email. “Plus I’ll suggest your book to my book group :)”

“I think some of the questions are too full-on,” said my Mum. “Book clubs are fun social gatherings as well a bit of debate relating to the book… six good questions will get everyone talking.”

I did my best, but I couldn’t get down to five or six. I cut to nine, as you’ll see here. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Like? Don’t like? Think I’m missing something? Get in touch at stuffocation@stuffocation.org.

1. Have you had enough of stuff? What did you score in the quiz in the book?

2. Do you think Stuffocation is the material equivalent of the obesity problem?

3. Did reading the book inspire you to get rid of some things? Where did you start?

4. If stuff came with warning signs like “Too much stuff can be hazardous to your health”, what stuff do you think should be labelled that way first? What warnings would you write?

5. Of all the factors causing Stuffocation, which do you think is the most important?

6. Agree with all your friends in the reading group to count at least one of the following, and then compare with the people in CELF study, and each other, when you meet up: socks, shoes, toys, books and magazines. (It’s a good idea to remind each other about this when someone sends out the meeting reminder.)

7. If you were going to play the Brewster’s Millions game, what would you do with all the extra money you’d have from not buying stuff?

8. Which of the lifestyles appealed to you most: could you be a minimalist? Would you like the medium chill life? Could you live a life of voluntary simplicity? Could you be an experientialist?

9. Could you be an experientialist? What did you score in the quiz in the book?

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