Tree fellers*

There is a peculiar and erroneous belief amongst some greener-than-greens that books are a waste of resources. Are they inferring that there are people out there who read books and then throw them away? Are they confusing books with newspapers? (It would be interesting to compare the annual tonnage of paper used for books with that used for newsprint – but these odd folk don’t mention newspapers). I suspect that this little falsehood is promoted by some sellers and manufacturers of eReaders. I’m not knocking eReaders, I have one; I am knocking those who seem unaware that these days trees are planted and harvested solely for papermaking. It is my eReader that isn’t green (it’s silver, but you know what I mean) because it contains nasty metals – but no more so than many other devices. I have this nagging fear that it will end its days on a mountain of electronics scrap on a distant shore, waiting to be dismantled by kids who will die prematurely.

The daftest suggestion I have read recently is that for every book you read you should plant a tree. That’s fine for people who read one or two books a year, but the rest of us would be knee-deep in trees in no time. And my daughter-in-law would have replanted the Caledonian Forest by now.

* Ancient Irish joke

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