Friday, April 25, 2008

Grab a Great Green Book

Continuing on with the Be a Bookworm Challenge, I thought I'd pass along a few resources for low emissions (e.g. used) books.
  • Browse your 'brary: Most libraries have online systems these days that allow you to reserve a book online and then pick it up at the front desk for a small fee. My library charges $.75. I can renew my book two times unless someone else has a hold on the book. I'm not alone in my love of libraries: check out Simple-Green-Frugal for an ode to the library (and it's not just for the books).
  • Borrow a book: If your library doesn't have a book, you might be able to find it by posting on freecycle or a local message board.
  • Just swap it!: Check out PaperBack Swap and Swaptree to trade books and other items online - for free. I've gotten quite a few good reads on the former, which also allows you to enter currently unavailable books on a wish list and receive alerts when someone posts that book.
  • Ponder Prosperity: Theresa at Pondering a Myriad of Things is holding a drawing to give away her copy of Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle (which she won from the Crunchmaster, who was given it by the author, David Wann). Click here to read about Theresa's drawing and leave a comment to be entered to win the simple life!
  • Buy it Used: Now might be a good time to investigate that dusty, mysterious used book store near you. You never know what they might have - or your local thrift store for that matter. I found the whole set of Little House books at our thrift store and I consider those books to be prime, simple life reading. If you want to order it online, check Abe's Books which is like Amazon but specializes in purely used books (and doesn't wrap their stuff in loads of plastic). If all else fails, look on ebay or Amazon for a used copy - most are like new, significantly cheaper and not made of new material so it's a win for the environment.
  • Support the Locals: If you are buying it new (that's okay, I just bought a new copy of Common Wealth - shhh, don't tell Crunchy), try a local independent bookstore if you can. I am a sucker for small businesses. Sometimes, though, the fates conspire against us or we don't have the time and we just order it off of Amazon. Again, not a sin! (That's where my copy of Common Wealth came from. Shhh!) You are going to read the darn book, right? Then pass it along to someone else who is interested or treasure it and refer back to it from time to time. I feel that books are an important exception to the Stop Shopping game. Without books, where would we be?
Gotta go read a book. Farewell, fellow bookworms.

If you have not yet joined the Be a Bookworm Challenge, leave a comment so that I can add you.


Carla said...

Can I gush about 'my' Library? First of all, it's only a few blocks from my office so I can make a quick stop there any day after work. Plus, I can request books online (no charge) from 6 other branches in northern Idaho. I can check my account online so I know which books I have checked out, wh/ones I've requested, if I have fines(I could say never but my s-i-l ruined that record), AND renew books online. Tomorrow the Arbor Day Foundation will be distributing tree seedlings (free). The first tree I planted in my front yard was a sugar maple from this giveaway in 2004 - it's now almost as tall as I am. It even gave off a little shade last year!
(I'm on my own at work here today, so apologize for being long-winded.)
But one more thing - when I was at Theresa's blog to enter her drawing, I had a little thought about her adding a little note to the inside front cover. From there I went on a little daydream trip, envisioning all these wonderful books traveling the world from blogger to blogger, all with little notes inside to each other... a Blogger's Book Swap, with a little TLC thrown in. (happy sigh)
OK, I'll get back to work...

organicneedle said...

I am so glad you mentioned books being the exception to anti-consumerism. I think it is really important to support authors and their ideas. Isn't it great to get new perspectives? Writers need to be able to support themselves in order to research and write. Sharing books is wonderful and great, but let's not forget that writers need to make a living. I say...if you really respect someone's work and you can afford a copy and then donate it to the library. Best of both worlds.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Book me, Beano!

I'll be reading Collapse, by Jared Diamond (among several other things - you want the full list?).

I'll be acquiring the aforementioned reading material from the liberry.

CindyW said...

I am disappointed to find out that my local library does not have Break Through. I will check out PaperBack Swap or Swaptree.

Or Arduous, will you give me your copy? wink wink. I will trade with you...

Green Bean said...

Carla: First, I have library fines. Don't hate me. I do pay them. Second, I saw your post on Theresa's blog and thing it is a brilliant idea. Mind if I steal it and hold a drawing for my copy of Plenty later this week? I think it would be neat to see how the books could travel through the blogosphere and we could all put a little note inside.

Orgie: I am totally with you. I get most of my books from the library. When I find one that I just cannot live without, after having read a borrowed copy, I will invest. I look back to those books often, for quotes, advice, whatever.

El Cruncho: Yes, all of your books would be great, you voracious reader you. It is really cool to see the book list growing with such a variety of books.

CindyW: Um, that's because I have it. Ha. Actually, I do have it but I just checked the SMC library website and you should be able to get it on interlibrary loan from one of the other libraries. That's what I did. Daly City, Belmont, South City all supposedly have it. Good luck!

Heather said...

I have a second book I'll be reading for the May challenge - "Everything I want to do is illegal" (by Joel Salatin). I've been wanting to read this since I heard about Polyface Farm in "Omnivore's Dilemma."

Thanks for keeping track of what all we are reading! There are quite a few I haven't heard of and will definitely be putting on my list.

Green Bean said...

Heather, the guy who distributes to my buying club keeps raving about that book. Can't wait to read your thoughts on it!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Mmmkay. Here you go (in no particular order):

*Flour Power - A guide to modern home grain milling
*Cooking with Sunshine
*Cubed Foot Gardening
*The End of Oil
*Hey Mr. Green (book review for the Sierra Club and giveaway on my blog)
*Green Chic - Saving the Earth in style (book review and giveaway on my blog)

The first three aren't theoretically "green books," but are really essential reading if you are interested in self-sufficiency and sustainability.

Most likely there will be more and I'll update accordingly.

Heather - let us know if you make it through Everything I want to do is Illegal. I really wanted to love that book, but it was more of a random stream of ranting consciousness. The man has some pent up frustrations, for sure.

pink dogwood said...

green bean - Ardous sent me here. Please add me - I will be reading 'Last Child in the woods'


Green Bean said...

Crunchola: Thanks for the list. Man, I thought I read a lot.

Dogwood: Thank you for joining. I'm so glad Arduous sent you over here.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

I'd like to join! I'd really like to read The Omnivore's Dilemma. What about Freakonomics? Does that fit in with the green list? Every time I try to get it from the library, it's out.

Also, I read Fast Food Nation when it first came out and haven't gone back to a fast food joint since. Except to use the bathroom on a long drive, that is!

Green Bean said...

Great to have you, Hatchet! You know, I'm not sure I can make an argument for Freakanomics being a "green book" but if you can, go for it! If you do end up reading it, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it afterward - environmentally related. Let me know what you decide to do. Either way, glad you're here. :)

innercitygarden said...

I'll be reading Living the Good Life, by Linda Cockburn. It's an Australian book about a family who set themselves the challenge of eating from their garden and not spending any money for six months. I just picked it up from the library.

Although I love books, I have to confess that over the years I've bought more than I've read. Which is really really bad.

Green Bean said...

ICG: Welcome! My close friend (a transplant from Melbourne, ironically) is working on that book right now.

As to your extra books, have you thought of doing a drawing for one or two like Theresa at Pondering Myriad of Things and sending them around with a note, as Carla (the first comment on this post suggests)? I'm going to copy Theresa and do a drawing for Plenty (100 Mile Diet) later this week.

eco 'burban mom said...

I absolutely love my library, but the downfall is having your name on a hold list for a book you reeeealy want and it never gets turned back in. I have been waiting for Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for months now and it finally came in, so, sign me up, I will be reading that one. I also want to read Green Chic, but alas... my name is still on the hold list. However, for complete fun and fiction I recently read Keeping the House by Ellen Baker which was a look back at the lives of two women in the early 1900's and 1950's. That was an interesting comparision to cooking, gardening, cleaning and family life today!

Green Bean said...

Welcome, Eco Burban. Keeping House sounds really interesting. I'll have to take a look if my library has it. As to Green Chic, is that the one Crunchy Chicken is giving away this week? You might pop over and see. Glad you can play!

Kellie & Marc said...

Green Bean... Would you mind changing my blog in your sidebar to my Greenhab blog: ? Currently you have my adoption blog listed, which is no issue, but thought people would be more interested in our green blog than me ranting about adoption paperwork. :) Thanks!

Green Bean said...

Got it, Kellie. Cute blog. :)

Lora said...

Don't forget about A great site for swapping books. Recent comments also pushed for reusing or sharing your mailing materials. That being said, if you join, don't you dare try to get to Crunchy's book suggestions before me. They have been on my wishlist FOREVER!


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