Cheap is the title of the “community read” that dozens of students and over a dozen faculty members will be discussing weekly during the first half of next term. Here is the semi-official course advertisement:

A 'Cheap' Shot

Registration is open for the 2011 Community Read! This year we’ll be reading Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture, by Ellen Ruppel Shell.  It’s a deep look at the environmental, social, political, economic and human costs of consumerism in the US.  There are nine different sections available, each led by two faculty members from different departments.  The sections are listed as Environmental Studies (ENST) 320 – SEM: CHEAP, which is a 1-unit S/U-only course that will meet for the first half of Spring term.  These are discussion sections, so there are no exams or writing assignments – only lively conversation!***

Professor Gerard is partnering with Professor Maryuri Roca (Chemistry) for a section at 2:30 on Thursdays, and I (Galambos) am co-leading a section at 8:30 on Fridays with Professor Beth De Stasio (Biology). We’d love to have you in our sections.

Based on some book reviews (here’s one), I will have a lot to say about this book, but I promise I’ll try to shut up most of the time. I know one chapter beats up on IKEA pretty badly, and I’m just not sure how I will handle that… Let me just say that other than a couple of chairs, perhaps, all our furniture comes from that wonderful, CHEAP, tastefully Northern European design paradise.

***An earlier version of this post said the book would be available at the Gift Shop.   It turns out that this is not true.  We sincerely apologize for the mix-up.