Books and a sliding scale

My brain got locked up yesterday. As hard as I tried to focus on reading for school, I couldn’t read more than a few paragraphs at a time. It doesn’t help that I don’t really care for either of the books I have to read. Ah well. Instead I read a book for fun. I have shelves and shelves of books bought in my spendthrift days. I have vowed to buy only used or electronic books from now on. I still buy books instead of getting them from the library though. I like being able to look back at them. I get different things out of the same book at different stages of my life or project. Listen to me, justifying … books are my weakness. Words are my passion. Given my sway toward all things green and thrifty, it will come as no surprise that I read a book on people who are thrifty and their habits and attitudes. (If you are interested, it’s called The Cheapskate Next Door)

According to the book, I am really not even close to being there yet. I wasn’t thrilled with the fact that he said some high percentage of thrifty people had learned it from their thrifty parents. Where does that leave little old me with my learned spendthrift ways? It leaves me trying really hard to learn, that’s where. I know it must be possible. People have done it in the past. I may never become a freegan, or a scavenger, but there are levels of thrift available to us all. Let’s say there’s a scale from 1 to 5 of thriftiness.

Wait a minute, I like this idea of a sliding scale of green and thriftiness:

1. People who turn off the tap and turn out lights. They adjust their thermostat and water heater temperatures. Recycle when they can.
2. People who hang clothes. Use natural/homemade cleaners. Shop at thrift stores. Cook most meals at home. Brown bag their lunches. Shop loss leaders at grocery stores. Sometimes uses coupons.
3. People who grow food for their families, compost, patch clothes and wear them until they are raggedy. Have a rain barrel. Have a hybrid or very fuel efficient car. Combine coupons with loss leaders. Have a stockpile. Have no credit card debt.
4. People who reclaim building materials and build their own furniture. People whose houses are paid off.
5. People who have solar panels for energy. Geothermal heat. Bike or walk everywhere. Reclaim grey water. Scavenge what they can and never pay full price for anything. Grow or raise most of their own food.

I like that scale. Not least if all because it puts me farther along than I thouh I was. I’d be a 2 1/2. I don’t know, is this a realistic scale? I think most people fall somewhere in there. Cool. Let me know where you are and where you want to be. It’s ok to want to hit 3 or whatever and stay there. Or even 1 or 2. Everyone does what they can and what they’re comfortable with.

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6 Responses to Books and a sliding scale

  1. lizard100 says:

    We have bits across your scale but I like it. I also have a problem with buying books 😃

    • Yeah, I fit into a couple of categories. Like I said, I think I’m a 2 1/2.
      I have stuck to buying used and electronic books so I feel at least ok about my consumption. My darling husband is an enabler – he built me a special bookcase just for my paperbacks and doesn’t mind that I’ve taken over our converted garage for a library.

  2. bmary says:

    Aside from “using coupons” and “fuel efficient car” I’m a solid 3. I don’t really find coupons for stuff I buy, but I do keep an eye out for sales. In my defense for the non fuel efficient vehicle, mine was bought cash and the insurance is ridiculously cheap. I’d like to be a 5. One day! One step at a time, I suppose!

    • I rarely use coupons either but it’s a frugal option for people more disciplined than me. My family has one fuel efficient car and one SUV. I, too, want to be a 5 eventually. It’s going to be quite a while before I get there though.

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