Donating a Beloved Book

It was a picture of a blonde with blue headscarf, pearl earrings and pink lipstick — almost like a Vemeer’s. I was captivated at the first glance.

In the logic of “time first, money second”, I did not want to pay a visit to the book store every a few days just to patronise the art work and so I bought the book. I spent $131 just for a single page. It isn’t even on my bookshelf anymore for I have donated it to my secondary school art teacher. It’s now a minor asset of her art reference corner.

I didn’t regret buying or donating it as I read into the fate of the book. It can either sit on its bored owner’s dusty book shelf or once in a while be discovered by and inspire a group of art students.

I know how much I’d love to read an newly published illustration book rather than the older ones when I was a student. Of course I could see buying a book but not owning it until the end of my life as a waste of money, but it could also be a present from “the new me” to “the old me”.


Ethical Shopping (My First Purchase After A Year-long Book Detox)

During my gap year/spiritual journey in 2011-2012, I found the dharma talks given by Ching Kung master (a Chinese Buddhist monk) so enriching that I didn’t feel like reading anything secular, except for teaching purpose (like the poems and short stories covered in the syllabus of HKDSE English Literature).

During that period of time, it was kind of a guilty pleasure for me to buy this book called Bonjour, Happiness. To be honest, I didn’t even need this book, as I considered myself quite qualified as a French in most aspects of my lifestyle. If it doesn’t cover anything that I don’t know already, why did I buy it?

Well, I spent half an afternoon reading in an air-conditioned, well-lit and spacious bookstore, so it would be morally wrong to walk out of it without leaving anything behind aside from a few strings of hair from the mindless brushing and twirling while reading… I am kidding!

The true reason was, I wanted to be an ethical buyer. As a minimalist, I believe I bear a certain degree of responsibility in supporting the ideas of finding happiness in a less materialistic approach as preached by the author Jamie Cat Callan.

Before that, I hadn’t really picked up a book and walked to the counter for nearly a year. There was only this one time when I wandered around a nearby district and discovered an underground used bookstore with over ten cats lying and jumping around.

I don’t want this place, the home of those cats, to close down but I know it probably will someday as people are less inclined to paperbacks. I want to help with the rent, even by just a few pennies. Besides the boss kindly directed me how to get to my destination. In return I bought a few used books there.

Another example of ethical shopping was I bought a packet of baking soda for $10 at a bakery supply store when I could get the exact same box for $9.5 at a chained supermarket. To which store my money goes to matters because each dollar speaks for what I support. I wanted to support a local store which specialised in baking so I opted to spend my money there.

Compared to this guy here in Hong Kong who started his one-man campaign of not buying things from corporation chain stores for a year, I am only doing so little.

I hope by sharing how little we can do to implement the notion of ethical shopping that more people will join the league and make this world a kinder place.

📚女文青閱讀筆記📚Laduree 精美彩色書 fine art of living




吾不爽地放下,卻又馬上以手機google國外讀者的book reviews,找來一些插圖:






All photos sourced from the Internet. No copyright infringement intended.

📋資訊精良計劃 Information Management📋(5) 如何節省讀書時間









📋資訊精良計劃 Information Management📋(4) 精挑好書




吃藥,最好經醫生處方。 看書,也最好經老師推薦。





  • 以前見一本借一本的兩性關係書和女性修養書,現在已經看膩了。
  • 對談寫作的書也失去熱忱,覺得累積經驗比空談理論為上。
  • 沒耐性讀藉小故事講大道理的書。看故事我會選經典文學,要啟示我會選直接傳授行動計劃的self help,我不要內容疑似虛構的心靈雞湯。
  • 本地半藝人半作者的散文連翻看的意欲也沒有。香港人寫的都是表面現象,文字很浮躁;人家台灣人會深入觀察一件事才下結論,或不下結論只聊感覺。
  • 林徽茵、張愛玲等才女的作品也沒興趣。雖知她們的經歷很豐富,但對於上個世紀的用字很不習慣。
  • 過份著重環境描述的日本文學也令人打呵欠。


Instead of Buying New Books

I realized I was buying more reading materials than I could actually make time to read. That wouldn’t be a problem if I were married to a rich man but in reality, I have a budget to follow in order to achieve my goal of living on my own and my expenditure on books has to be tightened. Besides, I felt like I was only pleasing my ego the moment I bought all the great reads. Later when I saw my book shelf, I disappointed myself for not finishing them. To stop being one of those people who foolishly believe themselves to be knowledgeable just because they own a copy of a great title, I’ve set 10 rules to stick to.

1. re-read my own journals

2. re-read PSYCHOLOGY magazines

3. refer to my doki doki (怦然心動) scrapbook and folder

4. re-read books on writing skills

5. re-read proses of styles that I want to follow

6. visit great blogs

7. re-read old e-mails to/from friends

8. visit favourite posts on my tumblr and weibo

9. visit photo albums on my mac and picasa

10. read any other reading materials that I’ve yet done with