Books! Books! Books!
Hopefully our clothing and everything that we wear is all decluttered now. When we open our cupboards, we see only items that really Spark Joy and they are arranged in a way that means that you can see them all. However, don’t break your heart over the storage of your clothes at this point, as storage tends to become clearer as we continue on through The Marie Kondo Method™.
This week we are going to do books and before we start, I’d just like to tackle the misunderstanding that has been circulating regarding KonMari and Books. The press and pundits, as ever, love to grab hold of an idea and wilfully misunderstand it. There were a lot of memes going around that said that Marie was prescribing only keeping 30 books and the outrage about it felt like she had said that we should burn all the books in the entire world, and the authors with them. What Marie actually said was that keeping 30 books worked for her, not that everyone else should only keep that many. As always, in The Marie Kondo Method™there are no right or wrong numbers, there is only what works for YOU.
Let’s get to it! For books, the biggest step is removing all the books from the shelves and yes, I mean all. No just scanning the shelves and saying, “Yeah, they all Spark Joy”, take those books down, make some piles and wake them up! Then individually pick up each book and looking only at the outside of it, decide whether it Sparks Joy (remember that lift in your heart when holding your favourite clothes? That’s what we are aiming for). If it Sparks Joy, put it back on the shelf, if it does not Spark Joy, then let it go. Remember that you are keeping books that speak to your heart, not books that you think will impress people who come into your house.
The time to read a book is when it arrives in your home. Chances are that if you haven’t read it already, you won’t. Free your mind from the guilt and let it go. Many people actually find that they start reading more once they have completed the method due to the unread books not hanging over them.
If you have a partner and some of the books belong to them, or collectively, then the easiest thing to do is to take all the books off the shelves, replace the ones that Spark Joy for YOU and then ask your partner to look through the remaining books that are on the floor and put the ones that they like on the shelves. It may well be that they keep far more than you would like, but do not try to get rid of books (or any of their belongings) without their say so, this will only lead to problems further down the road!
What is my own house like? I am a bookworm, I LOVE reading. Most evenings find me curled up on the sofa with a book in my hand and I often read over a hundred books a year. My PERSONAL collection of books totals around 50. I read mostly on my kindle now, keeping paper copies of only those that I want to read and reread again and again. My husband has about 80 books (despite me being the more avid reader!), but it’s my children who have the most! I Home Educate and we live fairly rurally, so I like to have a personal library for them. I pick up all sorts of interesting books and have them on the shelves and the kids browse them and then pick out ones that they like. Sometimes a good book might sit on the shelves for a long time and then suddenly they’ve all read it! We do whittle out books every so often, but I do accept that in this chapter of my life, lots of books are something that Spark lots of Joy for our family and we have a fair number of them…