The book world has fallen into a tizzy over the new Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, and her advice to downsize bookshelves. It’s no surprise to me that book lovers are so passionate about their books but it has been surprising how resistant many have been to the idea of letting go of even a single book. Of course, everyone is their own person and readers can’t be lumped into one group so while it seems like everyone is against the idea I’m sure they’re just the ones being the most vocal right now.
So, where do I stand on keeping books?
Well turn back now if you’re sensitive about this topic because I’m a regular book purger and only keep the books I know I’ll read again. There are a lot of reasons that make up this decision but the biggest is that I just don’t have a collecting personality. I’ve always been pretty minimalist with my things ever since I was a child and as an adult, my four different moves have certainly impacted the decision to not hold onto everything.
When it comes to books, readers are very set on how they feel about getting rid of them. For a lot of readers their books are like friends or family that provide a comforting embrace when needed. A massive library of books is often a long held dream of readers and there’s definitely something to be said for walking into someone else’s house for the first time and seeing a massive collection of books. There’s a kinship that you automatically feel when you see someone who loves books as much as you do.
On the other hand, many readers get their books from libraries, can only afford to buy their favorites, or just don’t have the physical space to keep everything they’ve read. It would seem that reading digitally would help improve a space issue since you can keep all your books and not worry about them piling high in corners and eventually burying you underneath them. But even with my complete move to ebooks back in college, I still get rid of my books. *gasp*
But, why you ask, would I get rid of books that aren’t even taking up space?
I’ve never really had a perfect answer for this other then I just don’t see the need to keep them. If I’ve read the book and didn’t like it or maybe just found it enjoyable but not a “keeper” then I don’t see why it should stay. That doesn’t mean the book is bad just that I don’t have a reason to keep it around. Again that minimalist personality applies even in the cloud.
Only keeping my favorites works for me but I don’t expect it to work for everyone because we’re all different. When I read about other people outraged at Marie Kondo I feel like they’ve missed the bigger picture. She doesn’t hate books, she’s not forcing you to get rid of something you love so much — she’s simply offering a solution that will work for some but maybe not for others.
If your massive (or moderate) book collection sparks joy in your heart then by all means keep them. No one is saying that’s a bad thing. Just like it’s not a bad thing to let books go.
Do you keep all your books or give them away?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.