Stephanie’s Sustainable Tip #6

Utilize your public library

I believe that reading should be free and easily accessible for all.  Support your local library system.

I’ve never been a book collector, and I think this is a difficult concept for those who are.  Shelves full of books are of no value to me, and I’ve been this way long before I was a minimalist.  The exception is my collection of college books that I still reference occasionally.  I hold onto these because 1) as good as the internet is, some sites just aren’t reliable enough to trust the information and 2) these books are not readily available at the library.

How is this sustainable?  Reading books from the library reduces the amount of materials (paper and plastic) we use, and by using the library system, you are reusing what has already been created and sharing with others.  Being able to borrow/buy books online is awesome too to reduce materials, but not everyone has access to an e-reader*.

Cost: Usually part of your taxes, and donations of volunteer hours and money are always welcome.  Public libraries offer free library cards, but it seems that you have to have an ID and an address.  So what do people who don’t have an ID or don’t have a home do?

My current stash of library books


This was a harder tip for me to write because as I continued to think about how easy it is for me to access books at the library, it became more clear how difficult it might be for others.  The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library system has a page dedicated to information on how you can help benefit the community.  Perhaps your library system has something similar.

Part of me feels bad because there are authors that spend months and years writing and researching for the books that I love to read, and I know they have to make a living.  How would authors make money if they only sold to libraries and not the general population?

*I admit that I’d much rather hold a book and turn its pages versus hold an e-reader.  The only thing I miss about my Kindle is being able to touch a word and have it automatically give me the definition to a word that I don’t know.


Go to Sustainable Tip #5                                                                                             Go to Sustainable Tip #7


4 thoughts on “Stephanie’s Sustainable Tip #6

  1. Eve Messenger says:

    I’m with you on this one. In addition to cutting down on expenses, waste, and clutter I love the whole experience of borrowing books fr the library, including the tradition of it starting with my great-grandmother walking me to the library when I was a wee lass.


  2. Alex says:

    I am the opposite. I would rather get rid of my entire closet than get rid of my books. I do go through my collection and make sure I only have the books I love and will read again, but I could never totally be rid of them.


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