A few months ago, I talked about the sustainable practices I was committing to in 2020, however I missed out a large part of my daily life – reading. I read roughly 40 books a year and buying physical 40 physical books a year isn’t sustainable for me in terms of the space they occupy in my expensive Bay area apartment or in terms of the paper required. So here is how I read sustainably, please note that this is what works for me:
Practicing the principles I preach
- The default option is to read e-books:
- Only buy a physical book, if it is a book I imagine myself going back to often. E.g. here are cookbooks, poetry anthologies, books I ready annually example As The Crow Flies by Jeffrey Archer
- Copies of books should be purchased from independent booksellers, below are ones I have visited in person and online:
- Cookbooks: Omnivore Books
- San Francisco:
- Note: There are SO MANY more independent bookstores, I would suggest looking around to find an independent bookstore selling the book you are looking for before looking to purchasing from Amazon.
- Borrow physical books from the library if I need to read a physical copy of a book. This could be for books with images or interactive elements.
- Allow myself to buy physical books when traveling.
- If I do buy a physical book that I have read and don’t see myself re-reading, I look to donate to the nearest library. For example, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library is accepting donations in COVID times as well.
Room for improvement
This obviously leaves room for improvement, so please let me know if you have feedback. In addition here are somethings I am looking to improve on in the future:
- E-books I buy are again funding Amazon, is there a way to read e-books while still helping out independent book sellers?
- I currently have a Kindle, which I love. However, I am open to exploring other e-book readers when this one meets it’s maker.
- Invest in 2 bookmarks that are made with 100% recycled material and can be recycled 100%. Currently, I use library receipts or dog ear the page to remember my place. shudder