9 Minimal Waste Ways to Read a Book

Hey everyone,
this one goes out to all the book lovers. I have tried to create an extensive list of resources to satisfy your cravings for reading material. I am personally a big fan of bookstagram. Bloggers who are part of this movement post beautiful shelfies and give great reading recommendations. My problem with this: the temptation to buy the prettiest books immediately and shiny new is immense. So regardless, if you are a book worm that reads hundreds of books a year but also are a minimalist or you are somewhat of a collector and are working on establishing your library, there are options out there for you, that don’t use up too many resources like trees and water.

Temporary / digital books

  1. The public library: This is the best solution in my opinion. You’re supporting the local sharing community and you’re not spending any money. Familiarize yourself with what your library has to offer. Besides the physical books and CDs and DVDs, lots of libraries have an online presence, where you can check out ebooks, audiobooks, and eMagazine. Chances are, the selection is even better than the physical selection and you don’t even have to go to the actual library.
  2. Your friends: I love talking about books with my friends. Find out what they are reading, share your recommendations, and lend each other your books. Depending on your devices and formats, this is even possible with ebooks.
  3. Your local book swap: Justine from littlegreenduckie.com brought this up and she’s so right. Many cities and towns have book swap shelves where you can pick up a book for free and return it later or donate another one. Justine actually runs a couple of them in London.
  4. Buy books and audiobooks online: If you feel like you won’t finish the book in the three weeks the library gives you or it’s a book you will come back to again and again, you can of course also buy ebooks and audiobooks. The resources for that depend on your devices. I used amazon and audible for a while but just canceled my membership because I want to use the library more. However, I do like the option that if you buy a certain ebook you can add the audiobook for a couple of bucks and then alternate between reading and listening. I’ve talked about this extensively here. I know that the Itunes Store sells ebooks/audiobooks/magazines, so I am assuming android does the same. You can also get ebooks from various bookstores with an online presence.

Physical books

I know, some people just prefer physical books. I can totally understand that. While I love ebook readers, I also dream of having my own library (of used books, of course). So when I expect to like a certain book or the cover or I think it will be a good fit for my future library, I consider the options below for buying physical books. I stopped buying new books a couple of years ago to avoid the use of resources.
  1. Your friends: Yes, your friends are making the list a second time. If your friends and coworkers are decluttering or moving, maybe they are trying to get rid of some books you might want to read/own.
  2. Yard sales/flea markets/Second-hand shops: The chances that you find exactly the book you’re looking for are pretty low. But if you make it a habit to browse through the boxes with books at your regular flea market or the yard sale down the street, eventually you will find something good.
  3. Library sales: A lot of public libraries have either a permanent book sale set up or they do one every couple of months to get rid of older books from their selection or donated books. Lots of good finds there.
  4. Buy used books in your local book store: I am aware that not every book store sells used books, but some of the independent ones do. Usually, the used books are clearly labeled and sometimes they are on the shelves right next to the new ones. That way you can just browse for the books you’re interested in and then grab the used alternative. I think this is a really neat way to support local businesses.
  5. Buy used books online: This is the last option I would consider if everything else fails. I have bought used books on amazon.com before. They usually ship their books in cardboard only but I know there are ethical issues with amazon. Alternatives might be half.com, a sub-company of eBay. The mister orders there and the packaging was always good so far. Another option might be Waterstones Marketplace – I haven’t tried them yet. Thriftbooks.com used to be my favorite but I am waiting for them to change their packaging to be more eco-friendly.

Getting rid of books

  1. Almost all of the above resources are also helpful in case you are trying to reduce your book collection. Don’t throw them out, there are always people who can use them. Donate them to your public library/ a homeless shelter/ a kindergarten (for craft projects), or give them to your friends.
9 Minimal Waste Ways to Read a Book - yoursjuliet.com
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