Be a Greener Reader
Since childhood, one of my favorite activities has always been reading, and a quick glance around my house proves it. I'll be the first to admit it: I'm a book junkie. I have at least one book I'm currently reading in each room of my house, and my Sunday afternoon library trip is one of my favorite times of the week. The problem, though, is books are not the most green of habits, especially if you purchase your own books and only read them once. However, there are plenty of ways to be a greener reader.
- Utilize your public library system. Publiclibraries.com can help you locate a library anywhere in the U.S. (including Presidential libraries) and also has a neat forum to give authors a chance to share their books with potential readers.
- Donate to and purchase from local book fairs. Most of the larger ones in your area will be well advertised in local news media, but you can also find one here, if you're in the U.S. or Canada. Note that, due to the enormous task of sorting all the books before a sale, most fairs stop taking donations about a month ahead of time, so check before you donate.
- Use websites developed for book sharing. There are dozens of them out there, but my favorite is bookcrossing.com.
- Buy an ereader. The two most successful are the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook. While ereaders are a hefty investment up front (find them used and save some money--I got mine from craigslist), they have the potential to save you a lot of money over time, since you can get newspaper and magazine subscriptions on them (cheaper and greener than the paper versions) as well as purchasing books at a considerable discount. And most of the classics are free via sites like Project Gutenberg.
- Download audiobooks. Personally, I like to actually READ a book, but I swear by audiobooks for car trips or the occasional workout.
- Have a creative side? Get artsy with old books here.
- Buy used books. You can find plenty of pre-read books online at large retailers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, but you can also buy them from sites like ebay and craigslist. Even better, find your local mom and pop bookstore. Most of these have sections for gently used books.
- Borrow from friends and family. The next time someone tells you you just have to read something, ask if you can borrow their copy.