Baby-Step #22- Zero-Waste and Minimlaism for Book lovers

I have a confession to make….I am a Bibliophile…a.k.a. a lover of books 🙂

ancient-coins-library

I have easily read somewhere around 2000 books so far (I lost count a while ago). I also love owning books, and being able to peruse a bookshelf in my own home for something to read when the mood strikes me. I have been a book addict for ten years now.

When I first started my Zero-Waste and minimalism journey I was very adamant that my books were staying, but I pulled them all out, and when I put them together I really understood how much space they actually take up….safe to say that it was A LOT, like my entire living room was covered in books. I started by paring down my book collection from about 1500 books, to about 250. It was semi-painful letting the books go, but now I am down to only owning the books that I love and reread regularly.

I had to really look at each book and be honest with myself about whether I will actually reread it or not, and if I was keeping it more as a way to define myself as opposed to actually enjoying the story. For example I had an old copy of Moby Dick, as well as many other “classics” that I realized I was keeping just to say that I had them…. as though having a copy of Moby Dick makes me a more ” Cultured” or “sophisticated” person.

I now own my “Favorites”, and nothing more.

For other book lovers out there I thought I would include a few tips to make your book loving more eco-friendly 🙂

  1. Check out books from your public library whenever possible. This is a great way to try out a new author without having to spend any money.
  2. If you must purchase a book, check out used bookstores before heading to a major retailer. I have found many amazing books this way, by my favorite authors, for a fraction of the cost.
  3. Try Ebooks. I am not a huge fan of ebooks personally, it just isn’t the same as holding a book and smelling that “book smell” in my opinion . But if you like reading on a tablet, it is a great way to save space and trees 🙂
  4. When letting go of books… I personally take mine to my local library, they have a used bookstore inside, and all the proceeds go directly back to the library to buy more books. You can also take them to daycares (for kids books), Goodwill (for all books in general), have a book swap with friends, or give them to someone you know 🙂
  5. Keep your book collection limited to a define space…Whether it be a particular bookshelf, or other storage space.
  6. Check your book collection regularly to gte rid of any that aren’t bringing you joy anymore.
  7. Abide by the rule “one in, one out”…that way it stays fresh and you always have a collection that brings you joy, and is not stressful by being too large.

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13 thoughts on “Baby-Step #22- Zero-Waste and Minimlaism for Book lovers

      1. That deserves a HEARTY round of applause! My mother keeps me from jumping in, always guilting me that my kids will want to read them one day. But I’d rather my maybe one-day kids read my favorites than the hundreds of ‘meh’ books I’ve accumulated!

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  1. Keeping our book collections on our shelves doesn’t really serve much purpose now. It is time that someone else enjoy them. All new book purchases I do now are through Google Play Books.

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  2. Books are so hard to let go. My mom also guilts me about keeping them for mythical children I might one day have. I have kept my favorites. Can you not donate them to the library so you can check them out if you want to? Or do you have to sell them at the shop?

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    1. Ha, my grandma does the same guilt thing, so I just don’t tell her that I am getting rid of them. My library allows us to donate them to their used book store, then they resell them to pay for new books for the library 🙂

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  3. Try Bookcrossing.com! It’s an international book swap community. It’s great because instead of buying a book, you’re just temporarily ‘borrowing’ it until the next person can read it. I’ve been a member for a few years now and a lot of times people sent me books for free. And you won’t have an excuse not to pass them on: they weren’t yours in the first place. The members are also great people and will happily send you books with no plastic etc. Let me know if you sign up so I can add you 😉

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      1. Awesome! Let me know how you get on with it. And if you fill in your ‘wish list’, you might even get random people offering you books 😉 my screen name is Schnepel, feel free to add me!

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  4. We are a homeschool family with 5 kids and are relocating out of state. Even though I did a massive culling through our books earlier this year I was shocked when I counted 31 boxes of books gathered and packed from around the house! I plan on having 1 central location in our new home for our books and will keep only those we love and re-read instead of the “maybe someday, it’s good to have around as a resource” books that have taken over! :/

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