Paper books are expensive. Let me guess. When you read the title of this blog post the first thing that came to your mind was ebooks, right? There is no use in denying it. Well, all I can say is that times have really changed.
“Books should go where they will be most appreciated and not sit unread.”― Christopher Paolini
Unfortunately I am an old school type of reader who still loves paper books so that is what I will focus on in this post. However you can check out this blog post where the author shares a few words of wisdom regarding how to read more ebooks for free legally
. Now that we have cleared the ebook issue and you still want to read on, let me use a story to get back to the topic of this post.
“Books should go where they will be most appreciated, and not sit unread, gathering dust on a forgotten shelf, don’t you agree?” ― Christopher Paolini
When I was a young boy not many families in my neighbourhood could afford 3 real meals per day. The feeling of having a full stomach was rare or even unheard off to some of us. The funny thing is that we all owned books, at least a few per family. Don’t ask me how we got them because I have no idea. What is interesting is that most of us liked to read. It was probably because we all knew that a good education was the only way to escape from the ghetto. So we kept exchanging the few books each one of us had until we had read all the books written by Louis Lamor, James Hardly Chase, etc. we could lay our hands.
I can assure you that back then our books where never used for decorating bookshelves. We kept them in constant circulation, providing entertainment, knowledge, etc. In my opinion, we let books do what they do best because as Henry Miller said, “A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.”
The state of the books didn’t matter. They were a scarce commodity. We were happy to read any book in any condition. What only mattered was that one had something to read. I remember situations where I would read paper books with many pages missing. The only option was to use one’s imagination to fill up the missing parts or to ask those who had been lucky to read the book while it was still complete to fill in the blanks.
So when other children in other parts of the world where making their baby steps into business by running lemonade stands, we started a local private library without even realising it. Although it was not an extensive library, it was good enough for our needs. Each and everyone of us was a librarian responsible for giving users access to books in one’s possession.
Many decades later, I decided to turn that idea into Boocshare, a website for sharing paper books with lending, borrowing tracking, reminders, etc. just like an ordinary library. The idea is to save money by sharing physical books locally, especially in places where there is no easy access to libraries. I understand that many people find it hard to lend their favourite books to other people. Because of my childhood experience I do not have that problem and I agree with Ernest Morgan who said, “I enjoy sharing my books as I do my friends, asking only that you treat them well and see them safely home.”
By using a service like Boocshare to share our paper books we can all read more books legally for free, protect the environment by saving trees, create local communities of book lovers and make sure books keep doing what they should do (entertain, teach, etc.) instead of just decorating shelves. If you are interested in saving money on books, protecting the environment, while reading more paper books, check out Boocshare
. Remember what Donalyn Miller said: “You are not done with a book until you pass it to another reader.” Sharing is caring.