Friday, September 12, 2008

Go to your "friend library" for books, magazines, or just...stuff.

Sometimes I tend to get carried away when I think about reducing my consumerism. Some of my most favorite hobbies call for me to buy things, so I find myself limiting the activities I enjoy... but it doesn't have to be that way. I have to remind myself that the purpose of a compact is to:

1. To go beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socioeconomic impacts of US consumer culture to resist global corporatism, and to support local businesses, farms, etc...
2. To reduce clutter and waste in our homes.
3. To simplify our lives.

-SF Compacters

This doesn't mean limiting your life to the bare necessities, just finding ways around doing what you normally do that involves spending. Everyone has their "thing" and I've learned that my "thing" is my fascination with books. I love books. Buying them, reading them, storing them, just looking at them. I would always tell myself "you're buying books to read, not junk to just own" and justify the mounds and mounds of books I buy in a really short time period. It's this obsession that I've realized I need to control and have begun to tame in the following ways.

A few of my friends have this same problem of buying lots of books. We realized that we don't own exactly the same library because of our varying interests, but it was cool to see what the other person has in their library and learn something from what they've read. For example, I would borrow a book from my friend in Chicago, and when finished reading it, would send it to her through the mail or wait to give it to her in person if I knew I was travelling soon. My other friends live close by, so when they come over, they "check out" a few books and return them to me next time they're over or if I visit them. It's endearing to know that you and your friends are offering to each other one of the best gifts in the world: knowledge.

It's a true library system that has been working great for the past few years without any kind of organization. It happens pretty randomly, at house visits or after a conversation about "this amazing book I just read, and you should too." We don't have a mechanism of keeping track of who borrowed which book, we're just trustworthy and considerate of each other's belongings. But I guess if you want to try this library system out and are worried your books will be jacked forever, try creating your own personal library kit to keep track of who has what.

1. Stick a sheet of paper on the last page of the book that has your name and info.
2. Keep a log at home on paper or on your computer to remember who checked the book out last.
3. Write on the paper in the book when you'd like the book back.

You could probably even use this library system with other hobbies, you lend your friend your roller blades and they lend you their ski stuff. Let us know how it works for you.

Happy Ramadan, happy compact, and happy reading!

1 comment:

Malika said...

dina, that's such a great idea! thanks for sharing!