Marie Kondo (who I have blogged about previously) has a new TV show on Netflix and I see it’s causing controversy among some journalists (who don’t seem to fully understand her methods) when it comes to books.
I haven’t seen the show yet but I have followed her methods for decluttering where you sort things by categories, so you tackle clothes first, then books etc.
I’ll admit that before I sorted my books I thought I wouldn’t be getting rid of many, if any. I have always considered myself a booklover and was proud of my shelves, literally warping under the weight of so many books. I have even been told that my first word was “book”. Yet when I piled them all up together, as Marie advises, I realised there were several that did not “spark joy” at all.
Incidentally, I believe people take the phrase “spark joy” more literally then Marie Kondo intended. Things which are practical and frequently used should be kept. They don’t literally have to bring great joy each time you touch them!
I donated at least four bags of books to charity shops the first time I went through the process. I don’t regret getting rid of any of them and struggle to even remember what they were. I know one was a book I had to read as part of my degree which I hated. There were some paperbacks which I enjoyed ten or twenty years ago but had never read since. And then there were out of date guide books along with a copy of the Writers & Artists Yearbook from the year 2000 which was no use to me whatsoever.
Books can be wonderful, magical, inspiring, informative and life-changing. However, they can also be boring, disturbing, badly-written, irrelevant and out of date. And if you have a stack of these on your shelves, or on the floor doing nothing but gathering dust and there to be tripped over, then why wouldn’t you get rid of them?