I read the good reviews of The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn on this site, but decided to begin my tightwad ways, so I took it out of the library. After reading about 5 pages, the book languished on my bedstand, costing me 5 cents in overdue fees because I forgot it was even there. I am so glad I didn’t waste my money on this book. I have several issues with it:
1. Organization: Amy Dacyczyn’s book is horribly organized!! On the cover are enticements such as “Tightwad crafts and hobbies.” I was interested in this topic, so imagine my surprise that neither craft nor hobby was listed in the index!! I couldn’t find it, so I gave up looking after about 10 minutes. Same for some of the other cover topics. And since the book is based on newsletters, there is no rhyme or reason for the listing of the topics.
2. Tone: much of what Ms. Dacyczyn suggests seems to be because of mean-spiritedness and lack of experience. She goes on and on, using anecdotal evidence, about how today’s kids are so jaded they don’t enjoy a walk in the woods or making cookies. So untrue!! Most kids love to do these things – their parents don’t have a lot of time, so they don’t do it often, but as a teacher I can tell you that children talk about these times in school with their classmates showing great excitement. She uses what she calls “Creative deprivation” so that her kids enjoy the one JUNIOR ice cream cone they get a year! I was by no means spoiled, but you don’t have to make a huge deal of out ice cream! It is an innocent pleasure, and part of childhood, to love and eat ice cream! Most of her ideas seem like she is depriving her kids so that she can write about it and make tons of money! I would hate to be her kid – especially if I was the one who had XXX in all my clothes to show I am the third girl! Yikes!! And if I want philosophies on effective child rearing, I certainly wouldn’t listen to someone so cheap that she deprives her kids to make a point. I’ll listen to someone who has a clue about child-rearing.
3. Ideas – many of her ideas are impractical and useless. I am sorry, Amy, I don’t want to donate my body to science to save on my funeral costs. And the ideas readers send in – there must be a contest to see who can come up with the most ridiculous way to save a penny! Lots of winners here!!
So between the lousy organization, the meanness of how the author treats her poor kids and the useless ideas – be a tightwad and do NOT buy this book!!
Nancy Lee Dunn