I read both of her treatises on tidying up and simplifying, but quietly giggled when I got to her section on books. “Let’s face it,” she writes, “In the end, you are going to read very few of your books again. As with clothing, we need to stop and think about what purpose these books serve.”
Then, “It’s the information they contain that has the meaning. There is no meaning in their just being on your shelves.”
She proposes we let go of the books that don’t bring us joy. She doesn’t advocate getting rid of all of our books once we’re finished reading them, but she does recommend we get rid of most of them. The only problem with someone like me (or you?), is that there are multitudes of books that bring me joy. Just looking at my bookshelf stuffed with books, at books piled in random corners, books on the coffee table, my nightstand, etc. brings me joy. I’m not a hoarder, far from it. But I have a lot of books. A lot. I can’t seem to part with them. Even the ones that don’t necessarily bring me joy. I like the look of books. I like my literary home :).
Admittedly, every now and then I purge a few that I don’t like (mass market paperbacks), won’t read (mass market paperbacks) or don’t like the look of (mass market paperbacks). But, I’d just rather get rid of pretty much anything else but books. I even did a huge clothing purge based on the KonMari system, and it was a wonderfully enjoyable experience. I got rid of bags of clothing! But when she says to do the same thing with all the books…there is just no way I can. For one, I have by far more books than clothes, and secondly, while I mind messes in every other area of my life I don’t mind books strewn hither and tither throughout my house.
I have books everywhere…
Here we have my messy slew of crafting/sewing books, with a few randoms thrown in for fun.
Next up! Gardening. Next to writing and reading my favorite hobby is gardening. These are the ones I pulled off the shelf and am currently paging through as I begin to figure out what garden problems I want to dive into this year.
Marie Kondo would gag if she saw this mess, but I don’t see this shelf all that often. It’s hidden a bit and it’s the kids’ bookshelves (where I guess we also stored Maddie’s 4th-grade mission project), plus a pile of Woolfian reads in the foreground.
I usually have a small stack of interior design and minimalism type books here on this table next to our living room couch. That’s Modern Rustic and Wabi Sabi Welcome. Both are a pleasure to flip through. Marie Kondo approved I do believe.
Just some books on the floor in the living room. I like the way they look.
Visit Beautiful Narnia!!!!! And so forth.
A shelf of books in my bedroom.
So, you get the idea. I have probably another dozen or so pictures I could add here of various piles and shelves here and there throughout the house. I could be more tidy with the presentation and I’m working on that.
Actually, I really love the KonMari system. I believe in paring down and not having so much stuff! But, I’m just laughing as I read through the sections on paring down books in her books.
What do you think? Do you let go of books easily or do you hold onto them no matter what? Do you like the look of book stacks and piles and bookshelves filled with books?