By Erica


Whenever a new technology comes out, something else becomes obsolete. DUH. So with the entrance of e-readers into society.. guess what it replaces…. good ol’ paperback and hard cover books.  While I see the convenience of an e-reader (I guess), it raises some issues.  Primarily.. what will happen to all the books? On a personal level, does this mean libraries will close eventually? Where will all the librarians work? Anyways, getting off topic.. the world already has too many books. But, generally, pre e-reader, books would circulate rather than end up in the dust heap. You loan them to your friends, sell them, borrow them, etc.  Now as the world turns away from traditional reading material, what will happen to all the millions of books? And think of all the trees that gave their lives to make those books. Sadness. 

Currently, I am using old books to prop up the sides of my futon.  As a reading traditionalist, I can’t bring myself to throw books in the recycling bin.  Second Hand stores are full of them.  Every time I travel, I bring as many books as possible from Canada and leave them in hostels, where maybe they will get read.  I am having a panic attack as to what will happen to all the books.  Until I think of a solution other than my futon support system, here are some interesting sites for book recycling…

Books for Africa: Donate old children’s books to those who need them in Africa (you can also get rid of old computers this way.. anyways who has seen Manufactured Landscapes knows that computers don’t recycle well)

Or you can try BookMooch to trade books with other fellow book worms. also had a book trade, which may or may not still exist.

In the long run, e-readers mos def have the potential to become more sustainable, especially as publishers reduce the amount of books released the traditional way each year.  Now if only we could find a solution for the books already in existence…..



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