I’ve noticed a bit of this in myself when it comes to books, but the existence of electronic books makes this not too onerous.
books were my last holdout. getting a kindle and enjoying a bare room is worth far more than the $140 outlay. I’m almost down to bed, desk, firearm, motorcycle, smartphone, laptop, kindle, clothes, and toiletries. Still have textbooks, and I’m hoping a decent electronic format for textbooks becomes available in the next few years so I can ditch those as well.
As I’ve worked towards stoicism my happiness and health have both improved.
I’ve found that even for academic books at least 50% of them are available online (not always legally).
Out of all the gross market abuses committed using the leverage of copyright, the textbook racket is as direct an incentive to piracy as I can think of.
Edit: A couple of disabled friends suggest the ridiculous difficulty in legally obtaining audiobooks and ebooks for the visually or physically impaired as worse. I am inclined to agree.
Bloody oath. See How to lose four hundred kilograms for my attempts to deal with my own artistic albatross.
Books are STUFF. And STUFF is a CURSE. NO DAMN ATOMS! Make your atoms pay rent in non-anticipated usefulness!
I heart the Kindle and similar devices, but ye hairy gods electronic books are overpriced. I understand why new releases are expensive, but I can buy a copy of (to pick an arbitrary example) Catch-22 at any used bookshop for $0.50; why I do I need to pay Amazon $13?
My usual solution to this problem is to buy things in some legal way and then go and get the pirated version anyways for the added convenience (lack of DRM on music, lack of unskippable previews on movies, having all my DS games easily available, etc.). However, that won’t work with books if my goal is also to reduce space consumption. :-\
Depends what books you read. Very few of my three and a half thousand books are available electronically, and not because they’re especially old. I would really like to be able to fit all of my books onto my 80 yards of library shelving, but until someone markets at an affordable price whatever Google uses to turn books into PDFs, I’m stuck with piles of dead trees.
ETA: I just bought four more on Amazon, none with electronic editions. Now I have to find four books I currently own to discard.
Why “discard” rather than “store inconveniently in cardboard boxes, pending my ability to afford a larger place to live”? Have you completely 100% maxed out your storage space?
Yes, I have. There are already stacks of cardboard boxes filled with books. For everything that comes into the house, something must leave. Better if several things leave, so that I can once again have empty space and uncluttered surfaces.
I scanned all my old photographs and threw out the originals. I’m doing the same with my audio and video cassettes, after which I can get rid of the cassette deck and VCR. I might get rid of the television, as my computer can do everything I need a TV for. (I haven’t watched broadcast television in years.)
Move to a bigger house? If I could afford to, I would. But that would just put off the problem for a while, and lack of storage space isn’t even the main problem. The real problem is that stuff takes not just physical space, but mental space. Those old photographs are now organised by date and location in a folder on my hard disc, where I don’t have to see them. I know exactly where they are if I need to find one, but they aren’t a drain on my mental energy the way the boxes full of 3,000 pictures were. I have umpteen mid-ranking SF novels that I dump as fast as I read them, because a few notes in a bibliography file to remind me what was in them is all I want to keep.
I have no ambition to live with fewer than 100 things, but I live and work best in a clean and uncluttered environment, and looking round my computer room right now, that is not what I have.