Before You Buy that Book

Oh my, this post highlights a habit I have...its almost an addiction...to books. Now, I walk past a book liquidators booth at the CNE and I can't help but rifle through every volume and find at least 5 books I want to buy but I have to stop myself and think about the implications of just mindless book buying. For example, 24 books are made from one tree, one tree less to absorb the carbon dioxide in our air. It doesn't make sense to buy a book you aren't going to look at for more than a couple weeks. So here are some questions you should ask yourself before you buy that book!

1. How long will it take me to read this book? Can I read it within two weeks?
If you are a fast reader (like me) you can absorb a book within a week...maybe a night! If you are a fast reader you definitely don't need to buy a book that you will read in a night and not refer to again.

2. Is this book multipurpose?
If this book talks about multiple subjects you will use it as a reference for, then this book will be useful to purchase, but if not, you may want to borrow it from the library instead.

3. Can I find it at the local library/school library/company library?

Self-explanatory, if you can borrow it, why buy it?

4. How many times will I want to refer to this book again in a year? In my lifetime?
With this question you ask yourself how "useful" the book will be to you in your library at home. If it will provide a bit of information but only serve to insulate your walls for the years to come, you might as well not bother buying it.

5. Will I donate this book after I read it?
You could donate the book you buy to charity and share a wealth of information as well as help a good cause.

6. Is this book a necessary purchase?
Sometimes if the purchase isn't necessary its pretty obvious whether or not you should buy it. If its more of a "want" than a "need" you should lean towards finding a more eco-friendly way of fulfilling that need.

7. Is this book made from post-consumer recycled paper?
If you're buying the book, you might as well make sure it is as eco-friendly as possible.

8. Have I checked the freecycle postings of my local area for this book yet?
Perhaps someone has this book up for pickup, free of charge in your neighbourhood.

9. Can I buy this second-hand at a used-book store or second-hand shop?
If you must have it, buying it used means one less tree was chopped down to make it!

10. Do I need this book right now or do I have time to search for a used copy?
If you would like the book but not immediately it would be fun to hunt down a used copy in the musty stacks of a used book store. Almost like finding a treasure of your own!

11. Can I borrow this book from a friend?
If a friend recommended the book to you, ask if you can borrow their copy. Take good care of it!

12. Can I find this information on the Internet?

Several books can be found online for free at websites like Project Gutenberg. An ebook could also be available

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