I recently signed up for a membership at my local library, and have realized that I haven't picked up any of the books I've already read in many months - so why let them collect dust around my house?
I realize that to a lot of my friends this is blasphemy. They are all very attached to their books and can't imagine life without them. I received the same static when I got rid of all of my DVD's (albeit, I've been obtaining a small collection since - thanks to MovieStop's insanely low prices).
Here are my reasons for going "paperless":
- Time limits: If I check out a book, I have about 3 weeks to read it. That's it. For me, this is helpful because it forces me to actually make the time, and if the book is so boring that I don't make the time, it wasn't worth it.
- Do Gooderness: No, that isn't a word, but I don't care. I feel good about donating the books I have, as I like to believe that I have awesome taste, which needs to be inflicted upon the rest of society. Some of the books I will be donating will include The Art of Seduction, Eldest on hardback, The Life & Letters of Tofu Roshi, and Good Omens.
- E-books: When college starts I plan on getting some sort of e-reader (suggestions would be helpful, I'd like to avoid the Ipad if possible). So the need for books in general will go away. Sure, I'd still rather read an actual book, but again, that's what the library is for.
- Space: The shelf my books currently inhabit would be perfect for displaying certain objects that I can't bring myself to donate/toss (e.g. - The hourglass I inherited from my Grandmother, my MVP trophy from work). The lower shelves could be used for kitten play areas (not that they aren't already...)
- Embarrassment: Owning no books means that while I can tell people (as I often do) "Oh my god! You need to read this!" I cannot in turn bring it to work, hand it to them, and then be struck by disappointment when it just sits on their desk for months on end, unopened, not taken home, and definitely not read. Only to leave me feeling stupid and embarrassed, and taking it back while they're absent one day. Not that any of that has ever happened before...
- Financial: I won't be tempted to buy books, because I make a point of not owning them.
I think the days of judging someone based on how many books they have is over. It is a ridiculous statement to begin with. We have libraries, e-readers, and the entire internet - books are no longer a necessity, and owning or not owning a certain amount does not - and should not - define you.
Just as my choice to become minimalist does not define me - but it makes me a better person.