Everyone, listen up: Just because Marie Kondo encourages you to tidy up a pile of dusty books, it doesn't mean she hates books. After all, she. is. an. author. (Kondo's New York Times bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing has sold more than 8 million copies since its 2014 release.) But her new Netflix show "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" has made people reconsider the KonMari Method because of her stance on downsizing book collections.
I just don’t trust someone who doesn’t understand the magic of books. (This is a Marie Kondo subtweet) Books come to us when they are supposed to and we read them when we are meant to. They are not interchangeable, indistinguishable blocks of text. pic.twitter.com/sW4rEUeute - Kelli G ✨ (@glazebrookgirl) January 4, 2019
She recommends keeping no more than 30 books in your collection, to be exact. Bibliophiles, like the authors of these think pieces on OprahMag.com and The Washington Post, argue that any sensible person wouldn't get rid of books that have taken you on adventures or deepened your imagination.
If you actually listen to the tidying expert, you'll realize that she's not against books in general; she's against books that don't continuously add value to your life. In fact, she takes care to recognize their importance: "Books are the reflection of our thoughts and values," she says while helping two writers pare down their library during the fourth episode of "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo."
She wants you to ask yourself: By having these books, will it be beneficial to your life going forward?
Her reasoning for this approach actually links back to her hometown. "In Japan ... it's a very moist climate so the books would be physically harmed by the dampness," she explained during a recent panel at 92nd Street Y.
If the very idea of throwing away your books makes you upset, the tidying expert says your rage is actually an important part of the process: "The point of the KonMari Method is to figure out your sense of value, what you hold most important. If your reaction is anger that you have to let go of books then that's great because that means for you books are invaluable," she says."The idea is that if it sparks joy for you, you must keep it even if I go over to your home and I say, 'Do you really want to keep this book?' If you feel that it sparks joy for you, keep it with confidence."
No matter where you stand, there are likely a few books that you can cut from your collection. After following the KonMari Method and thanking your books for serving you, consider these ways to thoughtfully donate your beloved reads.
Donate books to libraries, schools, and day cares.
It only makes sense to take your collection to the places where you and your children go to get your book fix. While libraries may be selective about what they accept, schools and daycares will gladly accept any age-appropriate books in good condition. Call your local library, school, or day care first to ensure that they have enough storage space.
Trade in books for money.
If you're looking to make a few extra bucks, consider trading in your books - textbooks too! - at Half-Price Books, BookScouter, and even Amazon. While you won't earn back nearly what you initially paid for them, you'll still earn some extra change that you can put toward your next book purchase - or late-night Amazon splurge.
Organize a book swap with friends.
The next time you invite your friends over encourage them to take a book from your collection but only one that sparks joy, obviously. You can even make it more official by organizing a swap or sale with friends and family so that you can give your books a safe, familiar home.
If all else fails, recycle your books. For hardcover books, remove the outer cover because it's most likely made with non-recyclable materials. Otherwise, recycle everything else as is!