18 August 2015

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Marie Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up Berkeley, Ten Speed Press, 2014.

What gives you joy? That is what you should do, and what you should have. It determines what you should buy. Keeping tidy is easy: eliminate that which does not give you joy (an excellent argument for divorce, as well). Books are among the most difficult items to let go, because they 1) retain function and 2) contain information, giving them long shelf-life. They retain ‘value’, and the potential for joy, very well. But do you love this individual volume enough to keep it forever?

Among more than fifty paperbacks that didn’t make it are Tolkien, Steinbeck, Conrad, Kipling, Freud, Herman Hesse, D.H. Lawrence, and Henry James: cheap classics, most of which can be had from Project Gutenberg if ever wanted again. That leaves only 1200 or so to disappear en route to Kondo’s ideal collection size of between thirty and one hundred volumes.

Yeah, books are hard to let go.

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