Sharing always beats buying new, and when it comes to books, it can also make reading more accessible.
Tiny public libraries are springing up all over Bogota, Colombia's parks. The aim of the program is to promote reading and literacy, and each mini library has volunteer staff that check out books and answer questions during the day. Rather than buying new, these book lending kiosks encourage folks to reuse and to share while improving access to books for everyone.
Colombia isn't the only city where mini public libraries are popping up. Architect John Locke transformed a phone booth near 96th street into a free library stocked with donated books from friends. Phone booths are on the way out, and a project like this could make all of those empty phone booths useful again.
Of course, sharing can extend so far beyond books, right? There are lots of things in our lives that we buy and only use a handful of times. Think specialized power tools for the yard and garden, DVDs, or even special occasion clothing. How much could we reduce our impacts (and our expenses!) if we shared and traded those things instead of buying new?