Simple living, meet the library

Green, simple living

In choosing to live simply I also found myself wanting to live much lighter in terms of resources used to provide for my needs. In other words, I want to live “greener”.

I need to read. I may not own a wall of books any longer, but I still need access to books. I currently get my reading material from the library. Our local library does an excellent job at providing us with not only good books, but also movies and magazines at no cost.  When many people can use one item the cost of producing that item now has a much smaller footprint than it does when only one person uses the product.

I have an attraction to reading magazines. I used to be one of these people who constantly browsed and purchased a magazine (or two, or three) a couple of times a month while doing my grocery shopping.  The problem with most of them is that I would buy it for one or two articles and find I was done with the magazine in less than an hour  I’ve never figured out what it is that I think I get from magazines and have given up trying to understand my attraction to them.  Magazines are a quicker read than a book, so there is less commitment, maybe I was simply looking for a break from the commitment of a book yet wanting to fulfill my need to read something.  The money I spent to fill this unknown desire was more money than I was comfortable spending. The recriminations usually started shortly after I arrived home, before I even began to read my latest purchase. In hindsight, that was a lot of money to spend on something I derived so little pleasure from.

Today when the magazine bug strikes, I tell myself I can find it free at the library. Today was one of those days. Walking into our library we are first greeted by the magazine racks.   A couple caught my eye and I was hooked. Instead of feeling guilty I found a few I wanted to read and brought them home along with a selection of new books.

Opportunities are all around to save money and resources

I have been considering the purchase of an e-reader lately.  I read a minimum of three books per week. I have been asking myself questions such as: would the cost of purchasing one be worth it to me when I have free books available? What about the cost of manufacturing the e-reader?  I have been debating spending the money for more than a year now.  This week I realized I have an option to making a purchase. It’s also an opportunity to see if an e-reader really fits my lifestyle.

I realized I could download a Kindle on my computer for free. Using this I can now also download or “borrow” books from my local library straight to my computer. What could be better?   I am not purchasing another electronic gadget.  I am not spending money. I don’t even have to use the gas in my car to get to the library to have access to a good read.

I grew up using libraries, and have continued through the years to supplement my reading with books borrowed from the library wherever I’ve lived. Since evaluating my life choices, the library no longer supplements my book buying, it is my first stop.  The library answers the question, how can we live simpler, lighter, greener, and less expensively while not giving up a single thing.


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