What to do when every book sparks joy
In this post I share how I have used the KonMari method from The life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo to organize parts of my book collection.
I love the concept of tidying up and, I have applied the question, does it bring joy? to most of my belongings but as the average book lover, this concept meets its match when it comes to my books. This is why, when I went through my bookcases the last time, I did not manage to discard a single book.
Put the books that sparks joy back on the shelf.
However another one of her tips helped me organize them in a better way.The tip was to put all the books on the floor.
English is not my first language, so the books in English only take up a small part of my library. So instead of going through all my books, (as she otherwise suggests), I only took down the English ones, which were placed randomly among my other books, and piled them on to the floor.
Then to be a good sport, I asked the question, does it spark joy? and then inevitably came up with a reason for each book. Then I piled them into new groupings and put them back on three empty shelves. Knowing that I have asked the question of every single copy still brings me clarity.
Action | Put all your books in fiction on the floor. Be honest about why this particular volume brings you joy. Then decide a way to organize the books who made the cut – is it going to be by category, author, book cover, color or read and yet to read? Lastly, put this compiled treasure back on the (perhaps now cleaned) bookshelf.
What to do if you have to let go of a book
In her book, The life-changing magic of tidying up, Kondo also shares that she used to write down her favorite parts from the discarded books. When this turned out to be too laboriously she would rip out the page and keep it in a folder. She ends the story by telling that she now does neither because she never looked through it anyway.
I could never make myself tear out a page of a book. I only once
wrecked a book. I did this as a teenager dreaming about being an
author and therefore ripped out the entire book of its cover so I could fill in the book cover with my written pages.
My version has been to take a photo of a passage I like. Especially if it is from a book from the library that I have to return. This lead to an entire new problem namely a photo library in need of decluttering.
A new way I safekeep passages from books are to write it down in a commonplace book. It keeps it all in one place and perhaps it can help me make it easier to let go of some books and avoid the problem of not looking through the compile of quotes, thoughts and well written paragraphs.
I hope you now have some new ideas to try out when you want to organize your books but don’t know what to do when every book sparks joy.
Resources mentioned in this blog post |
- Book –The life-changing magic of tidying up
- Blog post – Keeping a commonplace book using index- cards