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Wiser Living

Finding a natural solution

Rediscover Public Libraries for Sustainable Summer Reading

by Kirsten Hudson

Tags: books, libraries, public libraries, used books, used bookstore, sustainable, manufacturing paper, energy, toxic chemicals, environment, carbon footprint, landfills, number six plastic, recycle,

The other day I went to Borders to search for a book written by Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell. Normally, I would either check out a book from the public library or head to The Dusty Bookshelf, (a local used bookstore,) but I happened to have a $10 gift card to Borders that my grandma sent to me. With 10 bucks I figured I could buy one book and pay for at least half of another one.

When I found the book I wanted, I was shocked to see the price tag: $15.99. My $10 gift card didn’t even cover one book!

I reluctantly bought the book and paid the extra, but vowed to find the rest of my summer reads at used bookstores or the public library.

Check out used books at your local public library instead of buying new books. Photo By CarbonNYC/Courtesy Flickr

To catch up on your summer reading, rediscover public libraries as a more sustainable alternative to buying new books. Manufacturing paper uses large amounts of energy, destroys trees and releases toxic chemicals into the environment. Reading used books from the library helps cut down on your carbon footprint, plus you don’t end up with a collection of books that you’ll never read again.

Although libraries don’t always have the most recently published books available, they still offer a wide variety. Some libraries even let you make online reservations for books.

Public libraries also allow patrons to check out CDs as well as books. Rather than purchasing new CDs, check them out at the library and then download the music onto your computer. You eliminate CD jewel case waste and save money!

If you want to get lost in a good book this summer, go to to find a library in your area.