I love to read. My fiction of choice is usually a gritty crime thriller that keeps me guessing until the last few pages. But back in 2000 I discovered the first book in the shopaholics series, The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, and I immediately fell in love with the heroine, Becky Bloomwood.
Becky loves to shop. Her best friend is her credit card and she has a closet over flowing with the latest fashion. The only issue is that she can't really afford it, so over the course of the shopaholics series she gets herself into all sorts of scrapes in her shopping adventures. Sound familiar? It did to me so I immediately got hooked.
Sophie Kinsella's style is light hearted and honest. I found myself laughing out loud at some of Becky's reasons for making that next purchase because I think exactly like her. In my 20s, I could convince myself I needed that dress, or new pair of shoes at the drop of the matching hat! OK, I wasn't shopping in designer London stores but I was hitting the high street and buying a couple of pairs of shoes, outfits and all the accessories to match every month, and Becky was right beside me spurring me on.
And that is what I love about her most, she has grown up with me. Just as she was there with me in those carefree shopping days, she has also settled down. We may have tackled those credit card debts but lets be honest that shopaholic within never really leaves us. I too got married and over-stretched the wedding budget, and when I went to New York for the first time I was just as excited to visit Macys, Bloomingdales and Tiffany & Co, as I was to see the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge.
I'll admit I initially picked the first book based on the title, but I am so glad I did as Becky has given me hours of company and pleasure over the years. I've read the books more than once, and am always waiting for the next chapter of her adventure to be released. My best friend even bought me a signed 1st edition of the latest book, A Shopaholic to the Stars, which is one of my favourite gifts ever.
So a big thank you Sophie Kinsella for bringing Becky into our lives... she really is my hero!