Are print books a luxury our planet can’t afford?

I remember becoming a ‘greenie’ back in 1988. Growing up in such a beautiful and somewhat underdeveloped state in a lightly populated country had insulated me from the problems the rest of the world seemed to be facing, but we were all in this together. One planet and all that, so like most teenagers I discovered politics and protests by the time I could vote. I didn’t follow the conservative family line – we greenies had a planet to save.

I’m not sure how much was saved. It took another 30 years to ban single use plastic bags in Australia and our recently re-elected Prime Minister once took a lump of coal to parliament and asked us ‘not to be afraid of this little guy’. And last year we found out that all our recycling has been going to China for landfill. We only discovered this because they said they were full. Seriously, what the fuck. All this time I’ve been telling myself that I’m doing my bit and I was doing jack shit.

And this brings me to print books. I’ve been working towards releasing a print book of my first novel. I’ve got a lovely cover and am on my 100th round of edits. It should be ready sometime in 2030. Jokes aside, I’d like to release a print book. Many of my readers say they prefer print, but am I guilty of adding to the load this planet is bearing? Wouldn’t I just be better off just concentrating on ebooks.

So far this year I’ve bought probably 15 paperbacks. That’s a lot of paper. I need to use the library but books are the one ‘thing’ I buy so I tell myself that it’s okay. What about all the journals I write in? Is it enough that I try to buy recycled? And all the pens? My son tells me that no, this isn’t okay. I need a digital writey-thing with a stylus…

Tell me it’s okay…


  1. Britni Pepper

    I read on my device moistly, but I’ll buy the odd book. But for journals and planning, give me paper that I can scratch about on and draw circles and arrows and stars. I’ve got a stylus, but it’s nowhere near the same.

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