Her philosophy of ‘spark joy’, i.e. pick up an item (in our case we will consider a book) and if it doesn’t spark joy, then dispose of it.
The suggestion to throw away books that we will cherish forever even if they don’t tantalize us in the moment is what caused the controversy. Twitter, the blogosphere and a number of thinkpieces have erupted on it, essentially outraged at the seemingly sensible advice.
She clarified later that you don’t really need to toss your books, you can also donate the ones you don’t want to keep anymore.
I already declutter as much as possible and have, several times a month, stood facing my bookshelf with a critical eye, trying but failing to home in on titles I don’t mind disposing. I don’t ever throw away my books – I don’t know any reader who would do that – but I donate them to the library near my house who always accept the bounty gratefully.
Even if I tried to keep only 30 books and give away the rest, I don’t know how I would go about it.
Here’s just a tiny snippet of the books that sit on my shelf:
Harry Potter – 7 books
Artemis Fowl – 7
Agatha Christie – 14
Georgette Heyer – 12
Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series – 9 books
Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street Series – 9 books
Alexander McCall Smith’s Corduroy Mansions Series – 3 books
Jasper Fforde – 3 books
As you can see, that totals to way more than 30 (64 if you’re counting), and this is apart from the all standalone books I’ve acquired, and the nonfiction titles I cherish like Houdini’s biography, Eat Pray Love, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, and even Capote for that matter. This also doesn’t take into account the 100-odd books lying on my Kindle, some read, some (ahem!) unread.
So, 30 books? Make that 300 and I’d still be wringing my hands about how many you’re making me throw away. Make it 3000 and then maybe I could consider the matter.
What’s your take on Marie Kondo’s “30 books” advice?