I have six books from the library right now. They’re intermingled with four books I’ve borrowed from friends. And a couple of books I bought from a used book store, another I couldn’t resist off Amazon and one or two I got for Christmas. I love books. I love anticipating the joy of the story or of learning new information. I love holding a book and the comfort of reading one under a blanket on a Saturday afternoon. It’s better if I’m sitting in direct sunlight. I love grabbing a book for a trip, reading in bed, sharing books or talking about them with others. Libraries and bookstores draw me like a good coffee shop or an ice cream store. I always find way more books I want than I could ever read.
So, as I consider simplifying my life and the word ‘reduce’ as I’ve started to use it this year, I have considered not buying any new books. At least for a year. On the plus side, we don’t have much book storage in our apartment and are still trying to figure out what to do with the books we didn’t donate, sell or give away during the move. And, when I borrow a book from the library there’s a real deadline by which is must be read. Unlike some of the books I bought years ago and still haven’t read.
On the other hand…I love the option of writing in the book, loaning a book I love to others and supporting writers and the book industry. I hate discussions that printing will be obsolete and people will eventually read all things on a screen.
What to do. If I stop buying books I’m guessing no business will notice a big dip, so a little experimentation won’t hurt. Here’s the plan. Borrow first. Buy used when possible. When necessary or when something is so good it warrants purchase either to support the work or to share with others…buy new (and from a local bookshop when possible).We’ll see how it works.