Friday, June 27, 2008

Pride goes before a (eco-) fall

Yesterday I was all high & mighty over my big reusable bag discovery. Today I am taking my daughter to a craft program at our local library and it reminds me of something I need to confess.

I am a book collector.
Yes, I like to read. However, I will buy a book even when I'm in the middle of reading four others. I have books on my various bookshelves that are years old and have never been read. Yes, that would be money, trees and oil...wasted by me. *sigh*

My maternal grandmother was a librarian by trade, and growing up my family and I were regular library users. Somewhere along the line, though, I stopped borrowing and started buying. We are preparing to move and I have FOUR bookshelves to pack up. No Barnes & Noble bargain bin went un-perused, no gift card unspent, no Amazon wish-list ignored. I have amassed a collection of paperback, hardbacks, fiction, non-fiction, self-help,'s a mess.

So how to I correct this? Obviously, I need to stop buying every book that is recommended to me (be it friends, family or Oprah), has a pretty cover or a catchy title. Okay, that's Step 1.

Step 2 - find a way to recycle the books that a) I'm never going to read or b)I've already read & won't re-read (yes, I'm so nerdy that I re-read books). I suppose I could make a generous gift-in-kind to my local library, right? I mean who wouldn't want to read "A Year of Health & Beauty" by Beverly & Vidal Sassoon. Is the "Da Vinci Code" still popular? Hmmm...hopefully they'll accept my donation.

Step 3 - how do I address my insatiable lust for new books? No amount of green-lecturing is going to keep me from wanting new books. I think this is going to have to be a two-step program. First, use the library for any books that I am ready to read right now. Second, find a way to get those immediate gratification books that I'll end up reading "someday." I am looking into a website called where you can swap your books for others you'd like to read. That sounds like a good plan. I'll let you know how it goes!

1 comment:

Chele said...

Emily, I also have bookcases full of books. However, we move so often and sometimes it's to rural areas that don't have a library or if they do it's so small and pitiful. I collect certain authors that I know I will read over and over. The other books get donated to the closest Friends of the Library program. Friends of the Library programs have used booksales and use the proceeds to help fund their local library.