One of my dreams was to have a home library. All my favourite books lined up on a shelf, stretching from floor to ceiling. A complete wall of books in a room, with sunshine streaming in.
But now, I have given up on that dream. I no more wish a wall filled with books. And you know why?
It is a fake dream. That is what I never wanted.
The whole point of a book is to read and then learn and share. But it seems, the consumerist culture is dragging us in a different direction. We buy books and keep them for years hoping that someday we will read them. Or after reading them, we keep them on our bookshelves. And then we buy more. Isn’t the book better off being circulated among people who will read and appreciate it? And if not that, then at least being recycled?
My solution? No, not to reduce my reading. But instead to follow a more sustainable model.
Borrowing. Renting. If buying, then taking quick decisions on whether to read or not. And after reading, whether to keep or not. Swapping books with others. And do you remember my previous attempt with clothes? Yes, I am doing the same with books. I am giving them away, whether to friends and relatives or to libraries and second-hand bookshops.
I have no idea if I will able to cut down to just a handful of books or so. But the verb “reading” is now definitely more important to me than the noun “books” or “bookshelf”.
I still wish to have the room with the sunshine streaming in. But the stagnating infrastructure? The books and the bookshelf? No, thanks.
The free space, the openness. That is now my cup of tea. 🙂