I’ve always loved to read, and remember reading several books at a time as a teenager. Secretly reading novels during boring economics classes, and being totally lost in a book, wherever I was.
Now, with three kids and a busy job, I don’t always find time to read. However, there’s always a point when I start missing books too much, and pick up reading a again. And well, currently I.am.reading. On the train, in bed way beyond bedtime, a book in my bag wherever I go, reading more to the kids before they go to bed, even listening to novels on Storytel while working out or washing the dishes.
But how green is reading. All that paper, all those trees? What’s better? An e-book or a paper book? I use both actually. I feel infinitely rich having a dozen unread books on my Ipad, but I do prefer the look and feel of actual paper books.
I did some research online to figure out what was better: paper books or e-books, and well, the answer isn’t always clear.
In general, it seems, reading e-books is better for the environment if you read a lot of books, if you use a device you already own and also use for other purposes ( like an Ipad), and if you use your device for a long period of time.
Paper books are increasingly printed on recycled paper or on paper with the FSC quality mark, and the wood of which paper is made is after all a renewable resource. But still.
Anyway, here’s what I do to keep my reading as green as possible:
- When reading e-books or listening to books, I use my Ipad, and I’ve had it for several years and many more to follow I hope.
- I look for books, for myself and the kids at thriftstores. You’d be surprised how many beautiful and new-looking books you can find.
- I share my books with family, friends, colleagues at work. Some books go round and round from one person to the other for months.
- There are books I’ll always keep, but those I’ve read once and don’t wish to keep, I give away or sell online. Off they go, to a second life.
- And then of course there is the library, where one single book can be enjoyed by many.
- We also have two ‘Little Free Libraries’ in our neighborhood, where we occasionally bring some books, and find some ‘new’ ones to take home.
And well, not all my kids love reading as much as I do……….perhaps their lack of enthousiasm compensates a bit for my ‘book hunger’, and we’re all quite balanced after all 🙂