As I sit and look around the room, I can see two bookshelves absolutely overflowing with books. That's not counting the five I cannot currently see! That's a lot of books and a lot of bookshelves. We LOVE books in this house! However, do we need to keep buying them???
Whenever we buy a new book, we're contributing not only to mass consumerism but to environmental destruction. I don't think I'll ever stop buying them or move to ebooks or a kindle. However, I think there's a way to be smarter about it. Several years ago, inspired by Oprah Winfrey I bought Eckhard Tolle's A New Earth. I'm sure it was a good and useful book but, for me who'd already done a lot of reading many years prior about Zen Buddhism, it was nothing new. I was annoyed with myself for having bought it and decided that I would try, where possible, to borrow the book I wanted to read before buying it, to see if I actually wanted to buy it.
A couple of weeks ago, I bought a book by Alison Weir entitled, The Lady in the Tower. I knew nothing about it and haven't read it yet. However, in this case, I'm happy to own it because it's research into Anne Boleyn's last days. I've been fascinated by her since before I could talk. I will read it one day but, in the meantime, it reflects who I am and gives me a sense of anticipation when I see it sitting there. I don't want to stop buying books. I just want to stop and think before I buy. I also want to check out second-hand book stores first. We managed to buy all of John Marsden's Tomorrow Series at Maisie's in Brighton a few years ago.
I'm also thinking that it might to be time to donate some of our books to Oxfam or Rotary who have fantastic second-hand book shops, the proceeds from which fund wonderful humanitarian projects. Problem is, once I'm in there, I may just walk out with more books than I donated!