My Minimalist Journey: Why I’ve switched to Ebooks

I have always been a avid reader, they were a great escape during childhood. It has become a source of relaxation and entertainmenet over the years, even more so when i m trying to cut down on my YouTube and TV intake. I used to read alot of books during my undergraduate degree and before medical school. Now, i struggle to get out often enough to buy books regularly or find good content in the local charity shops. There was also the vast amount of workload i have that reduced my time available to read, and i began to feel guilty foor reading for fun insead of for learning. It wasnt until i reealised that my difficulty sleeping probably came from my inablity to relax in the evening.

I have been an owner of a kindle for a few years; unitl recently it was used sporadically, mainly on holidays to reduce the suitcase weight. As with most of my belongings, i brought my Kindle secondhand, which is why i justified the purchase of it. For a long time i mixed usng my kindle with paperback books, becuase i was buying supercheap secnd hand books online. When i moveed onto campus as a resident tutor getting packages became tricky and a hassel. So i stopped buying secondhand books online. It reduced the amount of books i was reading to a grand total of zero. Realsing that i wanted to go back to reading as a part of my bedtime relaxation routine, and not wanting to own more belongings than necessary, has led me to turn back to my kindle.

My decision to turn to minimalism was for a number of reasons (See:Why i want to become minimalist), during the journey i relaised that i owned a lot of books. Many of these books i hadn’t read more than once. They had sat on the shelf unused and it really felt like a waste of space and resources, espeically when we are really starting to focus on utilsing every resource we use. I love reading and the power that books give to people to be creative and gain wisdom. So whilst i wanted to give having tons of books on the shelf, i didnt want to give books themselves.

“Minimalism is a tool we use to live a meaningful life. There are no rules. Rather, minimalism is simply about stripping away the unnecessary things in your life so you can focus on what’s important”  ― Joshua Fields Millburn

furniture-1868274_1280Minimalism isn’t about giving things up, its about using what you have and not relying on stuff. You can strip away the excess and enjoy the important things in life, with out the weight of materialism holding you back. I didn’t want to give up reading and the enjoyment that it gives me; i simply don’t feel the need to have to fill my shelves full of books to prove i have read them. It’s why i have been actively making an attempt to use my kindle more, and carrying it around when going to work or travelling. It doesn’t weigh a lot, so it doesn’t restrict me but gives me options. I don’t scroll through facebook at lunch breaks, i read a chapter or two (or three!).

It has become a key part of my bedtime routine. I have been buying and reading books, not just buying and shelving them. Ebooks cost slightly mre then secondhand books, it makes me more committted when i make the purchase; i rarely leave them uncompleted as my thrifty nature holds my brain to ransom. The decision to become as minimalist as i can and the postive changes i have made, have led me to jump onto the Ebooks train. So the next step was to decide whatt to do with the books i hadn’t yet released in my minimalism clear outs.

My first step was separating out the books I do re-read or medicine-based books I use for reference. Putting those aside to save. Though I am keeping an eye on these few books I am keeping… committing to releasing them into the wild if I don’t read them over my up and coming breaks.

It’s then about taking what you don’t use and making the most of that item; by recycling, regifting or reselling. But not by throwing it away. This was the plan I took with my books. I went through them and gave a lot of them as hand me downs to my sister who is an avid reader. Plenty of them were books that were classics, such as Frankenstein and Pride and Prejudice; and though slightly above her reading range she loved them and it got her back into reading too. The rest I donated to second hand bookshops, hoping to spread an evening or two of enjoyment onto others at a lovely affordable price. It helps a good cause too.

A minimalist’s relationship with books ultimately boils down to removing the sentimentality from the physical aspect of it. You need to take the emotional feeling, memories and life lessons away from the story and not the physical book. For me and my busy schedule utilising ebooks has been the best option for my lifestlye. Whilst i  sometimes miss the physicality of a book, i usually overcome it by visiting a library or buy a new release and then donating it to others afterwards. Ebooks are not the answer for everyone and there are always multiple alternatives. Ultimately, if you are going to take away something from this, remember that reading is about the story and what you feel… and not about the need to fill your bookshelves.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. – Dr Suess

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12 thoughts on “My Minimalist Journey: Why I’ve switched to Ebooks

  1. In my younger teenage years id ALWAYS read! I’d get through 2 books a week but i always borrowed them from the library so it was never cluttering up my room and i wasnt spending money but as i got older and had my own income id buy books instead so now ive got a shelf full of books that i’ll never read again (some i have read more than once but only a handful) but i just dont think i could ever switch to ebooks, i dont like change and i love holding a physical book ahah!x

    1. It was a bit strange to start with, but I’ve been viewing a lot of textbooks online via ‘clinicalkey’ which I think eased the transition. There is nothing wrong with reading a physical book, but try to do something with them afterwards if they are just leaving them sitting on your shelves, there’s some amazing charities out there that could benefit from them.

  2. These days I’m also finding myself transitioning to ebooks rather than paper copies, it’s more practical and I read more than before without having to leave the house.

    1. I completely agree, as someone who tries not to leave the house unless I have too and at a time where we are asked not to. It’s a great tool to use.

    2. laurabooksandblogs March 18, 2020 — 12:00 am

      My brother got me a Kindle one year, and now I use it to review books. It’s a great resource so that indie authors dont have to mail me a hard copy, and it’s portable and easy to read in any light. So I definitely can vouch for them too, but I do still love collecting physical books.

  3. I recently had a big de-clutter and donated a lot of books to charity. I was never going to read them again and thought they would be better off being enjoyed by someone else. I also have a Kindle and have used it a lot this year, as it’s great to pop in my bag and take out with me. The only problem is sometimes I have too much choice and never know what book to read first, haha! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Abigail ❤ xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    1. I’ve had to buy books one by one, or maybe two if i am going somewhere where i might have enough time to read! Its amazing how many more genres is has opened up to me.

  4. Ebooks are actually a great idea, it takes a tiny space when you travelling,
    you have it all here and it’s easy to follow. Besides, it’s environment friendly.
    I like libraries, though..

  5. I’ve kind of being doing half and half! I rarely buy books anymore and actually prefer to take out from my local library. I still get to read a physical copy and don’t have to keep it! I’ve also been reading on my phone which has been really handy! Great post, Abigail!

    Daisy xoxo | TheDeeWhoLived

  6. Ooof I’m split on this one. I absolutely love my kindle and think it’s a wonderful way to read. I also agree that going through books and gifting ones you don’t want anymore or giving them to a second hand shop is also great. But I cannot break that emotional bond. That physical copy and the way it smells and feels etc and the memories they evoke when I reread will always bring joy to me!

    1. I completely understand where you are coming from. For me the physical copy was less of the stimulus for good memories but the catalyst… it gave me the story to escape. I can still to that with a kindle, so I haven’t really missed the physical book…

  7. I tend to purchase books but would read them way too fast so maybe having an E book would be good. I never really like to keep my books after reading them because they take up a lot of space. I give them to friends or even donate them.
    https://mindbeautysimplicity.wordpress.com/2020/07/20/you-are-not-defined-by-your-possessions/

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