Wednesday, October 24, 2007

For the love of books

Historic Reading Posters - October Bright Blue Weather
Historic Reading Posters - October Bright Blue Weather

I have a strange affinity with books. As a child I did not like them ( probably to do with having to read them) and now I quite delight in sitting down, near the fire with a good book. So in an effort to make them go around, I have found the following ways to apply the reduce, reuse and recycle message.


I have a real problem with that, having an Amazon wishlist makes my appetite for books insatiable, its a good tool, not just for buying books but for making a list of the ones that I would like to read.

I see whether they are available for free at the library or whether I can persuade the library to buy a copy for general consumption ( Am I really the only person who wants to read this one?).

Next you can share a book with a friend who has the same taste in books, or you just think they have the same taste, it gives you something to talk about.

There are books you only read once and those you want to keep forever and read again and again, reference books and beautiful books.

By now, the shelves are groaning and something has to be done.

Here are some useful sources :

Free ebooks. I use these with reading software that turns them into audiobooks.
Project Gutenberg - There are over 20,000 free books in the Project Gutenberg Online Book Catalog. A grand total of over 100,000 titles is available at Project Gutenberg Partners, Affiliates and Resources. Good source of classical works and just lovely to browse.
Similar available from questorbooks.


A good local source for me is the Oxfam bookshop and those situated in university cities offer a wider range of material.
The charity shops in my area also have a system where any donated books are sold for a fixed fee ( as we are a holiday area this is great for summer beach literature).

In the USA you could try booksfree.
Search for books on ebay
You can buy books secondhand on amazon too.
A trip to Hay on Wye the capital of secondhand books in the UK. ( also has excellent coffeeshops so I hear!)

BookCrossing. An unique system for the adventurous travellers in search of books. A very basic explanation: read a book, label it with a unique book number, and then leave it somewhere. Anywhere. You can leave it in a coffeeshop, with a friend, on a park bench ("releasing it into the wild"). There are designated book crossing spots all over the world, but they're not required. If someone picks up your book, if they find it, they write a review of it online, and you can read all the reviews of the particular book you "released into the wild".You can also look at book crossing spots in your area to see what books have been left there, and go pick it up if you want. Interestingly, there's a map that shows where books are "released" or "caught" all over the world — in real time. Quite interesting to add some interest if you do not want to go shopping , go and hunt for a book. Live dangerously....

BookHopper. List books that you're willing to post to people, and when they're requested, you post them (at your cost). You can also request anyone's books. The more books you list, the more you can request.

Bookmooch - a bookswapping service where you earn points, another one is paperbackswap, and readersunited.

If all else fails, donate or recycle as paper. Or use as craft projects, to hold up your bed as a student, to paper the walls with, be creative......share the gift of reading.

Who would have guessed that reading could be this fun....great activity to do during school holidays, go hunt for a book for free.
Added as recommended by Jake - readitswapit in the UK


Jake said...

check out - a great site for swapping books online

Leigh said...

What great links! As a collector of information, books are real treasures to me. In the US, another great way to both obtain and pass on books is through Friends of the Library. Ours regularly collects donations and then has several book sales each year. I've gotten some great bargains that way.