Fitness Magazine

Free-cycling Vs. Recycling Books on Aging

By Ninazolotow @Yoga4HealthyAge
by Nina
Free-cycling vs. Recycling Books on AgingIn my neighborhood, we’re big into free-cycling. For those of you who don’t know what that means, for us in Berkeley free-cycling means putting things you no longer want or can’t use—clothes, household goods, knickknacks, books, CDs, furniture, etc.—on the sidewalk so that anyone who wants them can simply pick them up and take it home. I’m both a giver and taker (have found some interesting things!), but mostly a giver. I’m so dedicated to this practice, that it almost hurts me to actually just recycle something (or, God forbid, throw something out). In fact, when a friend of mine was downsizing recently due to a divorce and I heard that she was planning to her old books to the dump, I begged her to give them to me so I could “get rid” of them for her by free-cycling them. And indeed as odd a collection of books as it was—old, new, fiction, non-fiction, obscure, common, young adult, super sophisticated.—it only took a matter of days before those hundreds of books were completely gone. 

So when Brad came home the other day with a stack of books on aging that a colleague of his had left behind, I sorted them into two piles: 1) scientific books about mechanisms of aging that I wanted to keep and 2) mass market books on “how to stay young forever” that I intended to free-cycle. Now if you’ve read our posts about aging you might be able to guess why I didn’t want to keep those stay young forever books. As I said in my post, What is Aging, Anyway? “if someone out there tells you they can “stop” or even “reverse” aging—I've heard both claims myself—you should be very skeptical. Because right now with so much unknown about aging, there is no proof that any of these anti-aging solutions are effective (and, in some cases, like overuse of certain supplements or human growth hormones, they could actually harm you).” And, of course, the very person who helped me understand the importance of that message and encouraged me to spread it was none other than my husband, Brad (aka Dr. Bradford Wayne Gibson), who for 16 years studied aging as a medical researcher at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.Anyway, after making my two stacks, I checked with Brad to see whether he agreed with my assessment. He gave me the thumbs up, except when I went to take the “how to stay young forever” books outside for free-cycling, he quickly grabbed them away from me. He said, “Oh, no, you don't. I don’t want ANYONE to read those books” and he tossed them all into the paper recycling bin. Whoa. I was shocked for a moment, but then the importance of his action really struck me. Yes, the irresponsible snake oil about aging that is written and published by people out to make a quick buck really does deserve to be reduced to a pulp. On Friday the recycling truck took away all the stay young forever books for processing, and one day soon they’ll have promising new lives as fresh, blank paper.Subscribe to Yoga for Healthy Aging by Email ° Follow Yoga for Healthy Aging on Facebook ° Join this site with Google Friend Connect

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