Thursday, October 05, 2006

Books on a budget

I am quite addicted to books, It has not always been so. As a child I was surrounded by books and my parents read a lot. Books represent knowledge to me and one of my learning styles is still learning through reading books and then applying the knowledge in a practical way.
Books however, add to stuff. That is the sad fact about them. Sometimes I really want a book and have it on my shelves so I can refer to it from time to time. Cookery books with recipes are like that, knitting books are like that and I have a great stack of gardening books.
Ordering by simply clicking at Amazon and having the book sent to me, originally maximised my pleasure, books make good gifts. I used to have magazine subscriptions too and yet apart from giving me that lovely feeling that is equated by putting my feet up, reading a book, eating a piece of cake and drinking a cup of tea or hot chocolate. Ah warm evenings ahead by the fire. My antidote to summer days, a fall day, a winter day, a small walk, and then home for a browse through the library. Poetry can also be found in books and in a recent assignment I wrote;
“ The relationship and the process happening to the reader of a book have the power to enable the reader to evolve, to learn and to grow by integrating the learning within their own levels of functioning. Jane Austen’s book Pride and Prejudice, written in 1830, although not a face to face encounter, nevertheless has the ability to engage me on a variety of levels of functioning as well as providing me with a character study for this essay.”

I have however a wish to reduce the ‘ stuff’ in my life and needed to look how I could change that automatic consumerism that had crept into my life.
As its raining today, I ventured out of the house on a little mission. I have an adventure book in which I write what I want to do so when I find myself with a little time and no idea what I could do with it ( this does not often happen), I can look at my plans and make an outing.
I had indicated in the adventure book that I wanted to reduce waste, stuff and in applying this to books I thought I would go and explore exactly what it was about books that was so important to me.
Apart from the above, I realised, walking in a bookshop that I like the experience of browsing books, followed usually by a pleasurable drink at Starbucks ( mentioned previously) and then a little moment of glee at looking through the books I bought.
I don’t think I explored alternatives lately, mainly due to ill health, but also because I now realise that it is so easy to stay stuck in patterns we have created.
I did find the town library. A large building with a different sort of atmosphere than a bookshop, ( it is not that enticing actually, the posters are missing!)but I can browse the catalogue which has been laid out like the Amazon lists with reviews ( did not know that?), and although some of the books on my list to read were nowhere to be found, I did browse by category and came home with a small selection. It did not cost me a penny, the books that is.
I also noticed that they have a CD library, video and DVD library and spoken books which sounded inviting. I took a little trip down memory lane and took out 2 CD’s which meant a lot to me at some stage in my life. ( that cost me £ 2, but would have cost me £ 30 on itunes!)Nice to reminisce this afternoon with that at very little lost. OK, I did need to drive to town but I can incorporate that in my planning. They also do a coffee shop in the library now, so maybe that is worth exploring. There is also a great reference library and study area, magazines, newspapers and periodicals to browse through.

All in all I could be having the experience without cluttering my home, spending money and creating packaging and books travelling miles to get to me.

I do believe that libraries do accept donations of books so thats worth finding out about if you are de-cluttering. Share your enthusiasm and knowledge with someone else. Reduce waste, clutterm spending but maximise the experience. From now on, I will consider a trip to the library followed by an indulgent experience at Starbucks as a treat. Go on, inspire someone else, read, write and share your joy with someone else.

Little Boy Reading Book in Library">


Anonymous said...


I'm an Aussie in Japan and have been reading your lovely blog for a few months. I don't remember exactly how I found it, perhaps from the Path to Freedom site ...

Anyway, some of my friends and I here have another way to enjoy books (English selection in libraries is limited!). We began a book circle where each member sends the next on the list a book on the first of the month. It does cost postage, but if you meet the next friend, you can simply hand it over. But it is wonderful getting a 'new' book in the post each month - like lots of birthdays! The next month, you pass that book on to the next person. If there are 6 members, your own book will come back to you 6 months later. We also write a comment sheet that is inserted into each book, so at the end you can read everyone's reviews.

I feel happier knowing that some of my treasured books bring enjoyment to others, and that the 2,000 or so yen I spent on them is shared. Postage for the average book costs around 300yen, so that is a considerable saving, even without thinking of environmental and simplicity issues.

Happy reading!

Nat said...

There's the Love Libraries campaign in the UK too: