5 Eco-Friendly Reading Habits: Sustainable Reading in The Era of Mass Consumption

Read more books, save money and preserve the environment with these five tips

The Causal Reader
4 min readSep 11, 2023

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Girl sitting on bed tosses her head back, books flying around
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I’m a firm believer that reading books should be accessible to everyone. Literacy, knowledge and access to information are essential tools to improving our overall livelihood and one of the best ways to keep our minds sharp is by reading more books.

There are countless benefits of reading and with the rise of bookstagram and BookTok, being a bookworm is not only great for you but it’s also considered cool and mainstream. 😎✨📚

But in an era of consumerism, fast-paced trends and massive hauls, it can be difficult to maintain a regular reading habit on a budget. Additionally, as we reach awareness of how our daily habits impact the environment, many readers, myself included, are on the hunt for new sustainable ways to read more books.

Here are the 5 best tried and true methods to save the environment and your budget while reading more books!

1. Libraries are your best friend

This is a no brainer and obvious first point on this list. Your local library surely has more books than you’ll possibly own in your entire lifetime (sorry, book hoarders). The cost of a card can vary depending on where you live, but most of the time it’s a small fee that absolutely pays off with the huge value you get. Libraries usually stock new titles as well as maintain a catalog of literature for all interests and purposes. And if you’re a student, visit your school or campus library and inform yourself of any student discounts at other public institutions.

Girl in library takes book off of shelf
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2. Sharing is caring — borrow from a friend

Exchanging books with others has a number of benefits. Now only do you get to save money (you can always buy your own copy of the book if you really like it), but you also get to discuss the book with others! One of the best things about reading is how easy it is to find a community of like-minded individuals. Whether you’re sharing love for a specific author, genre or series, talking about books with others also expands your knowledge and understanding with a different point of view.

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3. Used books need love too

There are plenty of great books that are waiting to be rehomed by someone who will appreciate them. Shopping second hand is also one of the few ways to find books that are out of print or limited editions. Sometimes you can find used copies of books in pristine condition, but it’s the charm of those with slightly bent spines that gets to me every time.
There is something thrilling about an object with a story attached to it — ex libris printed on the front page, dedications and thoughts written in the marginalia, which can often be just as engaging as the story itself.

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4. Switch from paper to e-books and online reading

Investing in an e-reader like a Kindle, Kobo or even an iPad is a great way to expand your reading list, whilst saving space and possibly a lot of money. After a slightly higher upfront investment you can essentially carry a large library in your bag. Down the line, owning an e-reader can make reading a very cheap endeavour. There are plenty of online sources of free e-books accessible in the public domain. And if fanfiction is you thing who am I to judge — there’s a lot of that online and I’ve also spent countless hours reading fan written and amateur stories.

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5. Multitask with audiobooks

An increasingly popular alternative way to enjoy literature is listening to audiobooks. These can be especially handy if you’re in a position where reading a physical book isn’t a convenient option, for example while outside running errands, on a long road trip or at the gym. You can get work done and enjoy a story at the same time! And just like reading an ebook, you can listen to audiobooks on many different devices for your convenience.

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In Conclusion

As you can see there are many eco friendly solutions to reading more books without having to purchase paper copies every time. Most of these are simple answers, but sometimes the most straightforward solution is the best choice. Perhaps you haven’t considered giving e-readers a try or you’ve never visited your local library. These practical tips are also very useful if you cannot find a book you really want to read at your local bookstore or at online retailers. Whatever it is, give these ideas a try and you’ll surely find new ways to enjoy reading!

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The Causal Reader

https://thecasualreader.com/ Sometimes writing happens. ✨ I mostly write about work, books, journaling, creativity and other lifestyle topics.