The Story of Stuff : Now a book, too

Library Books

The Story of Stuff book even talks about books! Image from Flickr.

When The Story of Stuff video was released in 2007, it quickly went viral. The video asks us to re-think the “materials economy” – where people purchase stuff, sometimes using cheap payday loans, use it, and then dispose of it. Over 10 million views later, Annie Leonard has released a 300-page book that goes much more in depth than The Story of Stuff’s original 20-minute video.

The Story of Stuff, the original

The original 20-minute video The Story of Stuff features single mom Annie Leonard talking about the realities of how stuff is made, purchased, and disposed of, including it’s environmental impact.

The Story of Stuff becomes a book

While at first it may seem counter-intuitive that The Story of Stuff Project would grow into a book – another piece of “stuff” – author Annie Leonard outlines the multiple reasons for writing the book on her website. A book is able to provide so much more information about her 10 years of research into The Story of Stuff (including sneaking into illegal factories). The Story of Stuff book also answers hundreds of the questions people asked her when they first saw her Story of Stuff video – like how do they get involved and where do they get more information.

The Story of Stuff book bridges divides

Just as importantly as sharing even more information about The Story of Stuff, a book is able to go places and make an impact in ways an online video never could. Only a small minority of people have internet access fast and consistent enough to do things like watch videos – and a book can go anywhere.

The Story of Stuff book is hopeful

Watching The Story of Stuff can seem kind of depressing. Not only are we using up the world’s resources, but we are doing it so quickly that faxless payday loans get used to feed the obsession. Amazingly, in the book even more so than the video, The Story of Stuff becomes a hopeful tale. Yes, it covers in detail what is going wrong, but it also covers in even more detail the hopeful signs. The Story of Stuff distills down to the fact that yes, things are bad – but we can get involved and we can make a difference.

The Story of Stuff book is even fairly stuff-free

If, after watching The Story of Stuff, you feel guilty about wanting to buy, rent, or read the book, you won’t need to. The Story of Stuff book is printed on 100% Post-Consumer Waste paper, uses soy inks, solvent-free glues, and even used electronic editing. Even better than that, an MP3 CD of the book is set to be released soon, so you can listen to the book instead. Yes, the book does contribute a bit to the Stuff on your bookshelf, but it does so in the way that will help The Story of Stuff become a much more positive story.

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