The Heartbreaking Difficulty Of Getting Rid Of Books

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Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is a very intriguing piece to read, but it leaves the reader with some reservations. The main organizational method that she advocates in her book suggests that you sort all of your possessions and touch every item and then only keep those things that “spark joy.” Now this may work well for those who are sorting through old bric-a-brac, but if you are truly one who love literature and especially old books, then you may find her method to be painful and tedious.

Furthermore, she suggests that you pair down your book collection to around 30 essential books, but for any true book aficionado, this is hardly enough of a library to accommodate the classics alone. Most genuine book lovers feel about them like Charlton Heston of the NRA who would rather you pry them from your cold, dead hands. If this typifies your perspective on your personal library collection, then you may not find Kondo’s method to your liking.

In fact, Kondo suggests that you just keep the parts of the books that you love and consider just tearing out the pages of the books that feel you must possess and trashing the rest of the volume. I have always felt that the written word is sacred and the idea of shredding a book and tearing it apart is, to me, reprehensible endeavor.

One way that Kondo’s Shinto background shines through is that she believes that objects have feelings and that is why we should touch each one before deciding to discard it. She offers us the idea that we should pursue the balance between our pleasure derived from things versus the liberation that we achieve having freedom from things. If you feel that you need to pair down your book stacks at home, then maybe Kondo’s, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, could be just the thing that you need to clear out some space in your home. But, if you are the sentimental reader who hopes to have the perfect and complete book collection, then this may not be your cup of tea.



Featured image via The Reel Foto

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