Libraries: The cheaper, greener alternative to book stores

Libraries: The cheaper, greener alternative to book stores Want to get that new book? Need some fresh magazines? Grab your library card and go on a free spree.

According to the Green Press Initiative, it takes around 30 million trees to produce all the books in the U.S. And that’s leaving out all the magazines and newspapers that cycle through the average American home.

While most books bought at the store get a few reads, library materials stay in circulation for years, delving out wisdom to many along the way. Libraries also carry local and national newspapers as well as magazines on a wide variety of topics. If you think you’re green by recycling your New Yorker, think again. By reading the exact same pages at the library, you’ll keep one copy completely out of the system.

With regular visits to the library, you don’t need a Kindle or a Nook either. While a Kindle holds hundreds of titles, each aisle of the library holds thousands.

Another nice feature of libraries is they don’t just cater to whatever happens to be popular at a given time, or what’s most likely to sell. That makes library collections much better resources for a wide breadth of knowledge and topics, although you may have to wait a few weeks to read the Twilight series books.

The green movement is a lot like preschool. Patience and sharing must be key virtues of the environmental movement, if it is to succeed. Pop quiz: What’s better for the earth, waiting for a week for your neighbor to finish reading a book, or each buying a copy?

If you haven’t checked out your local library recently, give it another chance. And maybe check out a book while you’re at it. And remember: Having fun isn’t hard when you have a library card. Find a library near you at


I can personally attest to the sustainability efforts of libraries as my book recycling business grows. Last June we had to stop accepting new clients until we found more space and added new equipment. We still only pickup books within a 200 mile radius, which includes Cleveland, Pittsburg, Columbus, Cinncinnati, Charleston and "along the way". For libraries and universities with loading docks and space to accumulate books on pallets, it is economical to ship from 800 miles, which goes from atlanta, newyork, chicago, st louis memphis etc etc...

Keep up the good work you do Libraries of the world !

Brett Bringardner

Another great post!... We love the library... Our local library even orders books for you! I have request two books to be added and they called me when they finally arrived. It only takes about two weeks depending on when they actually order the books I think it is like every 6 months or so (not sure about that). But the books cost 43 dollars! Now I can check it out when ever someone else is not using it. Also the library has the best book sales. I have found some great green books for .25 cents and magazines for .10 cent for school projects. Long Live the public Library!