Like all other Netflix households, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has made its mark on ours, as well. No, I haven’t gone on a manic cleaning and clutter-purging-binge like many others (though I know I need to, don’t we all? ), but I’ve wondered about the items that outnumber all others in my home: books.
I have books by the bedside, in the toilet, on the kitchen counter, and my study, of course. Our place isn’t huge to begin with, and now I’ve begun to feel a little like the camel owner whose camel has taken over his tent at night. There are more books than walking spaces, almost, and that does get a tad annoying at times, to be honest.
I’ve started giving away some of the books I’ve read, and am planning to give away more as the weeks and months and years go by. I tell myself I can always buy another copy if I really want to, or buy it on my reader, or borrow from the library. It is beginning to work. Slowly.
Then I come upon this article in the Guradian, and am having second thoughts. The author says:
As for culling one’s unread books – while that may be essential for reducing fire and tripping hazards, it is certainly not a satisfying engagement with the possibilities of literature. (Unless it’s self-help or golf, in which case, toss it.) Success is, eventually, actually reading your unread books, or at least holding on to them long enough that they have the chance to satisfy, dissatisfy or dement you. Unread books are imagined reading futures, not an indication of failure.
I tend to agree. I don’t possess self-help or golfing books (I find the former useless and the latter irrelevant), but the books I do possess, I intend to read. (I know I can’t possibly read all of them, there aren’t enough years.) I’ve got to live and do stuff and write and so on. I want to cling on to my books as long as I can though, and think I shall allow myself a few years more of bookish clutter.
What about you? Do you think your books spark joy? Is that important? Do you ever get rid of books? Why or why not?
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