Hidden Treasures

I started back at uni this week after having time off over summer. On my walk to the train station I stopped into the Little Library at Melbourne Central to have a browse, I’ve donated many books there throughout our BNN journey and love the old timely bookstore feel it has.

So I went in and had a quick scan of the books there and I saw the spine of one book that read ‘The Spend Less Handbook, 365 Tips for a Better Quality of Life While Actually Spending Less‘, Perfect, right up my alley I thought. When I got on the train I fished the book out of my bag and noticed a sticker on the front which initially I thought must be some award the book has won. I soon realised the sticker said ‘Books just wanna be free!’ – this grabbed my attention.
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A little while ago we had a comment from ‘CC’ Richards who’s blog is Daytripper Sippers. He bought our attention to the idea of ‘traveling books’ which I have heard a bit before but he jogged my memory on the theory behind them. Travelling books work on a ‘read and release’ theory, this means you leave a book which you have read or are willing to let go of ‘in the wild’ (such as on a park bench, on the train or the Little Library) so that then someone else can pick it up and enjoy it themselves. Travelling books have been around for ages, but the exciting part is that they have now gone digital – this means you can keep track of your books travels online instead of just hoping it’s gone to someone nice and never knowing. You see normally you would leave your name and location inside the front cover of the book, but now with the help of bookcrossing.com each book is assigned a registration number and can be logged online so all past and present holders of the book can see the journeys it makes.
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Anyway… The book I picked up is a bookcrossing book! I had the biggest smile on my face when I noticed this, it’s like I felt special, as if the book chose me – weird I know! So far the book has been a little gem with quite a few nifty tricks of the trade. It had a little story at the end of chapter one which I really enjoyed, it seemed to connect with me and our BNN journey really well.

A rich businessman while on holiday in a foreign land approaches a local fisherman who is relaxing next to his boat watching the waves gently rustle up the shore.

“Why aren’t you working?” he asks the man.

“Because I have already caught enough fish for the day,” the fisherman replies.

“But if you were out there fishing now you could sell all the fish you catch and make extra money,” urges the foreign businessman. “You could save up the extra money you earn and buy another boat. Keep on working like that and soon you could own a whole fleet of boats and start up a business in international trade”

“And why would I want to do that?” said the fisherman, barely looking up from under the brim of his straw hat.

“So that you could become rick enough like me to be able to sit back and enjoy life”

“But what” replied the fisherman “do you think I am doing now?”

What a great story, it resides so perfectly with some of the things we’ve learnt so far with BNN. Be grateful for what you have, live for now – don’t waste your time thinking ‘if I just had that I would be so much happier’ because if you really think about it, you probably wont. Experiences are what really stick with you, memories of laughter, smells and sights – not stuff.

I am so glad I’ve come across this book, it made my day. I look forward to reading more of it and then releasing it so it can go on and live another day.

Little xx

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Made to break – the good the bad and the troubling.

It all started with the printer…

Our printer has had an error message for the last few months which we interpreted as it needed new ink, so off went Big Pop to buy new ink.

$60 later and I found myself sitting with the printer still not working tearing parts out and following various online how-to’s, none of which accomplished much at all other than covering my hands and the desk in ink…  some even ended up on the kitchen bench somehow?

I finally found a helpful online spiel which explained the error message and what it meant; essentially we needed to replace the printer head which would cost more than the ink we just purchased. You can imagine the frustration in our household… All I wanted to do was print off my assignment for uni and what use is a printer that can’t even print?!

Since when were things made to break? It seems such a common occurrence today – especially when it comes to electronics. I’ve only just started to notice it, have you ever had something fall in a heap pretty much as soon as the warranty ran out, our car did.

I’ve been doing some research and it’s actually a business strategy, it’s called ‘planned obsolescence‘ Which essentially means that the product you are purchasing is designed to wear out or stop being useful after a predetermined period of time in order to make us buy more (and exhaust our landfill depots). There is no decent reason I can think of to justify planned obsolescence other than corporate greed and the need to make money. It is a waste of valuable resources and a waste of hard earned cash. (if you want to read more about this here is a great link with loads of info from the Sustainable Business Forum: http://sustainablebusinessforum.com/green24/51989/planned-obsolescence-products-designed-profit-not-planet)

Why can’t businesses just make things like they used to – things that actually last.

So that brings us to the big announcement – our household has committed to buy nothing new for twelve months starting this Monday the 29th of April 2013. Wish us luck and feel free to check up on us here (if anything it will make us more accountable to know people are reading!)

We will be making a follow up post shortly with rules etc… as we are still sussing all this out at the moment.

Until next time, peace, love and tacos!

Big Pop and Little Pop