To Own Or Not To Own, That Is The Question!

Blog Post Title 24th September 2021

Hello and happy Friday, despite everything.

Do you like to own or borrow the books you read?

This question is a lot on my mind currently because the husband and I are downsizing our home. And we have many, many books. So many, in fact, that we jokingly call our front room “the library”. Many of them are given to me by my family and are old but not particularly valuable. Owning these gives me a connection to my family both those who live far apart as well as those who have passed away. It makes me feel at home to have a room full of books.

But I also have loved libraries ever since I was introduced to them either by school or by my mother. I can’t remember which. And owning a room I could call a library was a dream I had for ages. Whenever I saw a film in which a big house had one I thought: Wow it would be cool to have that many books. While I couldn’t have one I enjoyed the browsing of books in the public libraries I lived close to. After moving one of my first actions always was to seek out the public library and get a library card. And then to borrow books. While I loved owning books I also very much enjoyed borrowing them.

But times have changed. As I said above we want to downsize but I also feel that owning a paper book might not be so good for the environment. According to The Eco-Guide that depends. If you read about 22 -23 books per year your carbon footprint in e-books would be less than that of owning these books as paper books. That is if you compare the production of an e-reader with producing the same amount of books. If you read less owning paper books is fine. The Eco-Guide compared several other aspects of which is more eco-friendly which you can read here. I read between 25 – 35 books per year so my e-reader is definitely more eco-friendly especially as it is quite old and I do not intend to buy a new one.

G. Bell's quote on owning books
created with Canva

But it feels very very hard to let go of my beloved books. If I’d knew they went to people who would love them as much as I do then it would be easier for me. Also, if my books would help someone. That is why I made a start of parting with them by giving some to a hospital for people living with mental health problems. The hospital was very grateful and I am sure it helps many. And I have some ideas to give some of my books as presents this year to loved ones whom I know will appreciate them.

All that not being able to let go of my paper books is, of course, not particularly logical because I hardly read any of them. Currently, I mainly listen to audiobooks or read e-books because I find it easier. But hey, life isn’t particularly logical, is it?

Well, no matter how much I feel connected to the paper books I own, I will let them go and own or borrow e-books in the future so we can fulfil our downsizing dream. Do you have a similar problem? Or doesn’t it matter at all to you if you own or not own the books you read? I’d love to know 🙂

Happy reading

and remember:

You can do it!


2 thoughts on “To Own Or Not To Own, That Is The Question!

  1. Sandee says:

    We have two large bookcases and they are full and then there are the piles of books. I’m a member of Literary Guild and buy books from them. I read them and then hubby reads them and then we give them away to friends and then they pass them around. It works for us.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend, Liz. ♥

    • Liz Halton says:

      Ah, I don’t know why my heart hangs so much on my books as I currently only read e-books. I’ll find a place for them though. Absolutely love your system. It makes sense 😊

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