As a dedicated interpreter (and reforming practitioner) of clutter, of course I’ve been watching Marie Kondo’s tidying-up show on Netflix. I have thoughts–so many thoughts!–but have been too busy with book work to write them up yet. Soon, soon.
To tide you over, read novelist Anakana Schofield in the Guardian on why she reacts so negatively to the idea of KonMari-ing her bookshelves:
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 think Schofield interprets the idea of “Spark joy” too narrowly, but her column is still an interesting love note to the unruly possibilities of personal libraries. Some people [raises hand] do feel strongly about having a lot of books around them. But I am also a fan of releasing some books back into the wild from time to time. Cull, don’t cull–just keep reading.