Literally, on stuff. I have been reading a few different things which have made me think.
I read a very interesting post here, on ebook hoarding. A few things in there really resonated. We have thousands of books in our library. Thousands. While we have maybe 2000 physical books. It’s hard to say- we had at least 2000 a few years ago, and hadn’t catalogued a huge chunk, and then we have been steadily divesting. Anyway, we have more books than I will ever be able to read. And I think the comment about mindfulness made in the post is a good one. I don’t really pay attention to the books we accumulate, I don’t make a conscious choice to read them, or really when they are bought (often because they are on sale).
I can remember that there was a point in my childhood, somewhere between about 11 and 14 when I had read every book on my shelves, except for one (wuthering heights). There were books in the house I had not read, but not in my room. Books were not an infinite resource. I was able to get some through scholastic book club (subject to parental review) but the books stores in that town were limited, and there was no second hand book store (that I knew of). So I was limited to the library and my existing collection, and the occasional trip away. I consumed mindfully- books were chosen carefully because I had limited options. And then Hastings came to town- they had a much larger selection, and sales.
So now, we have many books, and no real check on their purchasing. I find myself unable to find something to read!
And there is another blog I have been reading, which is more about decluttering. The writer is gradually decluttering, but keeping a tally of how much things cost, how much she has recouped and therefore how much has been wasted. It’s interesting, especially her commentary on the items, and why she purchased them.
The other day one of the other residents of this building left his garage open. G commented on this when we drove in at the end of the day, as it had been open in the morning. His comment was that the garage was empty. Ours is very full. So we walked up to the end, and it was mostly empty. A wooden trunk, a few bits and pieces, but not much. Especially not compared with ours. G was was asking how someone could have so little. Maybe the question should be how we can have so much?
So lots of different inputs, each reminding me to be less consumerist. It’s hard though, it feels like that is a huge part of our culture now.
And then there was a doco on last night about Hollywood involvement in WWII. In one of e propaganda films they are encouraging people to save, to buy war bonds and they equated shopping and being a consumer with helping the enemy! How things have changed.
So, trying hard to use the things we have, rather than buy more. Trying to sort through and get rid of stuff we don’t need. It’s hard. And to add to that, we are going to japan in July. Consumer paradise, and a large part of our plans is the shopping…