I've just soared through The Comfort of Things. I was going to say ploughed through but that suggests it was an effort and it was no effort at all. I was going to do the blog-all-dog-eared-pages thing but it's too good to be broken up like that. It needs to be read as a whole.
This little passage from the prologue seems to encapsulate a central argument of the book and certainly reflects what I got from it. And it comforts me because I often feel at odds with the consensual sentiment in the Sunday Papers - that the most refined state of being is when we all decide to shed our possessions and live lightly and minimally, choosing only what we know to be beautiful and useful blah blah blah. I tend to think my pleasure in the dumb objects and physical things of everyday life make me deficient, this book reminds me it just makes me normal. (In this respect at least. Hurrah.)
"We live today in a world of ever more stuff - what sometimes seems a deluge of goods and shopping. We tend to assume that this has two results: that we are more superficial and more materialistic, our relationship to things coming at the expense of our relationships to people. We make such assumptions, we speak in cliches, but we have rarely tried to put these assumptions to the test. By the time you finish this book you will discover that, in many ways, the opposite is true; that possessions often remain profound and usually the closer our relationships are with objects, the closer our relationships are with people."