sustainable reading


When I was a child I had to be in a separate class for english, I credit it to growing up bilingual but either way it meant I wasn't very good at reading. I did one on one classes for reading and grew up without much interest in books, then when I hit my pre-teen years I fell in love with it. Now, with more responsibility and slightly less free time it's a hobby I partake in less frequently than I'd like, though I still read a few books a month. When attempting to live more sustainably I re-looked at the way I enjoy reading, and figured how to do so without the extra impact on the planet.

The most accessible, and in my opinion all round best, option is to borrow from your local library. I've written about this before so I won't go into too much depth but the reasoning behind why this is sustainable is fairly simple. Libraries promote a sharing (and circular) economy, a situation in which no new books are bought on the consumer end and we minimise production, which in turn minimises the amount of resources used. We all get to enjoy books without having to put too much stress on the planet, and at the same time you save money and support your local economy. On a lighter note it's also quite fun, an activity that engages you with your reading in a new way, and one that is fun for kids too. You can reserve books, request the library to stock new ones, and find a whole variety of books you never would of otherwise bought. I've totally fallen in love with the calming ritual of going to the library and highly recommend re-connecting with it.

However, there are times when you need specific books, and some of you may also not have access to a library so some other options are book swaps, buying second hand books, and/or electronic devices for reading such as a kindle. You can organise large book swaps in your community or simply borrow and swap between family and friends. Second hand books can be found at op-shop's or specific second hand book stores, and keep an eye out for people leaving boxes of them around when trying to pass them on. I have a kindle and use it a lot for specific books I need to read, for example for school, and love that it is cheaper as well. Though, reading through a Kindle obviously means supporting amazon, so other electronic options would be better


Though in some ways it may seem like leisure and sustainability don't go hand in hand, in this case one is totally able to partake whilst remaining within the realm of sustainable living. One of the largest facets to sustainability is education, especially when you are looking at it through an intersectional lens because many, if not all of us, will have some level of privilege we have to educate ourselves about. Reading and books is one great way to do this, whilst supporting those exact communities, so continue reading and filling your wonderful brains with thoughts and feelings, just do it in a way that moves us and our planet forwards rather than backwards.


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