Woo-hoo! Finally! I am so eager to discuss this book.
First of all, I had to twist some arms to make this discussion come about. Did you wind up liking the book, and are you glad you let me twist your arm?
Also, is it what you expected?
I think there’s more to the book than the title suggests; although, I’m not sure any other title would have been better or more descriptive because I think the book comes at the issue of Cheap from many different angles. This is one of the things I especially liked about the book, all those different angles.
For instance, the author spent a good deal of time on the psychology of good deals, low prices, the concept of value, etc. She also covered some economic history including the rise of department stores and the evolution of farming. And then there were biographical portraits of some of the people and companies that have had an impact on the introduction and growth of Cheap culture.
What was your favorite angle?
I liked them all, but I think what drew me in personally was the psychology. I think I felt somewhat immune to manipulative pricing and deal strategies, as though I am harder to manipulate than the average consumer, or I can see through trickery. I no longer feel that way. Some of the studies the book relates convince me that I am vulnerable, that everyone is. This bothers me. Who wants to feel vulnerable? But I’m also glad I know. Knowledge is power, right?
Do you come away from the book thinking differently somehow?
I’ll have to go back and see that book. I’ve got China Mieville’s Embassy Town and his books require me a good bit of time to sit down and let my mind be mixed up quiet a bit. Not something I can readily read at work.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book, Ziggy, whenever you get to it.