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For Readers: Is Marie Kondo Coming For Your Books?

January 29, 2019


The simple answer is 'No.' Nobody is coming for your books. 


The more complex answer requires a bit of background. 


A few years ago a lovely woman by the name of Marie Kondo wrote a book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This book seemed to take organization world by storm, but it wasn't until Netflix released a series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, that the book world seemed to go nuts. 


The concept behind her method of decluttering and organization is that we should only keep what truly sparks joy for us and our lives. She breaks down the idea of tidying up into 5 categories.





Komono (Misc. stuff)



Now, most bookworms I know immediately stopped when they saw 'books' as the second tidying/purging/decluttering category. Myself included. I immediately said 'Nope! Not gonna happen! You'll have to pry my books from my cold, dead hands!' Dramatic, I know. But, us bookworms take our book collections seriously. I, like so many other bookworms, shared memes in solidarity of NOT getting rid of our books. 





But, the truth of the matter is that we are all panicking for absolutely no reason. We put our blinders on to the real story and refused to budge. But, budge we should because the truth is not what we think.


Marie Kondo has stated numerous times that SHE only has 30 books, not that YOU must only have 30 books. Her whole philosophy revolves around keeping what sparks joy for YOU. And, if being surrounded by books brings you the biggest joy, then by all means keep every single book you own! She has stated, though, that the likelihood of us rereading most of our books is slim. She believes we will likely gain more joy by getting rid of the ones you know you'll never read or ones that you never enjoyed to begin with.


“I grew up in Japan, and the climate there is very humid. So it’s damp and the moisture in the air causes lots of damage to the books. It’s not great to have a lot of damaged books. The books themselves won’t even open, they’re so damaged,” she said. “So if you’re retaining so many that you’re not reading, you might have to let go of some. But I’ve learned through this experience that’s very different in a foreign country where the climate is very different, and you’re able to keep the books in beautiful condition. Plus, you have more space to keep them, and that’s perfectly fine, so that’s one of the biggest things I learned through this process.” (IndieWire Interview)


“Only you know can know what kind of environment makes you feel happy,” she said. “The act of picking up and choosing objects is extremely personal.”


If that environment is filled with books embrace it! Celebrate it! Don't let anyone tell you that you must purge your collection of literature before you'll feel joy. Those of us who loves physical books know how much beauty and joy they bring to our literary hearts. Let them serve a function. Let them be celebrated for their place in our lives. Let them be part of who you are.


Marie Kondo is totally okay with that. She's not judging. I promise. 


And, if you're feeling like purging part of your collection, feel free to send them my way. I promise they'll make me feel joy ;)


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