Get this...there's this place. They have tons and tons of books and they'll let you borrow as many as you want for free! Crazy, right?
So, I was serious when I promised Steve that I would make an effort to curb my new book purchases. Just as the withdrawal was starting to make me shake, I realized that I hadn't been to the library for years. How shameful is that? So, I marched on in there, renewed my card and was just in awe of how many books I wanted to read that they had on hand. Making use of my local library is one of the greenest changes that I can make to my life, and it's ridiculous that it's taken me so long to fully embrace it. I checked out a stack of books about sewing, knitting, and embroidering in my quest to teach myself new and useful skills. I even went so far as to not buy several books at Goodwill last night, asking myself the question: "Do I need to own these books? Or would I be happy just checking them out, reading them, and saving the money?"
Don't get me wrong, my personal library is still incredibly valuable to me and I don't anticipate there will come a day when I will stop adding to it altogether. But, if I want to make frugality, community building, and low impact living a priority, this is a simple and effective change that I can make. In theory, I've always known this and been an avid supporter of libraries, but with the exception of checking out books to do research for school, I've never really taken full advantage. I blame this on the fact that I grew up in a tiny town whose library collection consisted solely of Danielle Steele and whatever was on Oprah's reading list. I remember going in there while I was living back at home for a short while after college. I realized that I had made it through 4 years of higher education without ever reading Hemingway, a situation which I decided to remedy. Except I couldn't because the library didn't have any Hemingway. At all. I had to drive a half hour to a neighboring town to find a copy of A Farewell to Arms. So, my default relationship with libraries was that of them not being very helpful. I need to keep reminding myself that this is completely and totally wrong.