One of the hardest things for me to go minimalist with was my library. I have always been a big book worm and parting with books was the hardest part of our downsizing process. I wouldn’t think twice about getting rid of clothes or furniture, but when it came to books it was a different story!
Downsizing books was a process of putting them in the “maybe pile” then pulling it out. I would then hold the book, think about it again, and then there was a 50/50 chance it made it back onto the shelf. It wasn’t easy but I reached my goal of downsizing my library! I probably went through my books 10 times, picking and choosing which ones stayed and which ones made their way to new homes.
I think the hardest part was that many of the books I owned, I hadn’t read yet. So how could I decided if I kept them or not? We hadn’t even had a chance to get to know each other!
Part of our reason for living a more minimalist lifestyle is that both Tim and I wanted to adopt a life that was more environmentally friendly where we could minimize our footprint. A friend had posted something on Facebook about how the book and magazine industry, not matter how “green” wasn’t really sustainable. I thought about it, and realized that if I wanted to put my money where my mouth was I needed to get over my dislike of E-readers.
I was also considering buying one because of the convenience of having hundreds of books at your fingertips. There are so many times that we’ve been on a trip and I’ve finished the book I packed early, leaving me with nothing to read the rest of our vacation.
E-readers and Used books
I wasn’t sure at first, if I would like reading on a Kindle. I’ve always been a fan of how a book feels in your hands, the smell they have when you pull them off a dusty bookshelf, and how the broken the spine and coffee stained pages show love rather than neglect. I decided I would download the free Kindle Reading App on my phone before I fully committed to giving up most paper books.
Since Tim and I both read before bed and he usually falls asleep before I do, having the app on my phone proved to be really awesome. With so many free and discounted titles available I was always able to find something to read.
I quickly realized that I actually enjoyed using an E-reader. My only complaint? The screen was too small. Obviously reading a book on an iPhone screen isn’t ideal, so after about 2 weeks of using the free Kindle App, I decided to take the plunge and order a Kindle.
Which E-reader to Pick?
Picking out which one of the many E-reader options was the next task at hand. A lot of my friends suggested just using my iPad, but working in digital marketing means I spend most of my day looking into the bright light of my computer screen. The last thing I want to do is continue staring into the bright screen of my iPad as I am trying to wind down for the day.
I ended up purchasing a refurbished Paperwhite Kindle because we love having Amazon Prime, making it really easy to get books and magazines. There are so many E-reader options out there with so many features that it almost feels like you are buying a car. My wishlist was simple, I just needed a back-light feature so I could read at night while Tim was asleep or late night flights where the cabin is dimmed.
Love it or Leave it?
I’ve had my Kindle for a couple of months now and I am really happy with it. Having a Kindle has allowed me to read more (usually in the dark when Tim is sleeping). I’ve been able to read new titles without having to buy a hard copy and check out old classics that are free in the Kindle store. Tim and I have also decided to only buy used books or digital books as part of our efforts to live a more minimalist life. We are also making sure that as we read books that we no longer want to keep, we will take those to the used bookstore as credit for our next read.