The Life-Changing Magic of Not Weeding My Books

I just finished KonMari-ing my house, according to the precepts of Marie Kondo. 
I full-on drank the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Kool-Aid, and I’m happier and lighter and freer for it.
Don’t worry, little ones. You’re not going anywhere.
I kept skipping the part about purging the books.
“I’ll get to it later,” I said.
“I’ll save that for last!” I said.
And finally, this is what I said: “Forget that.”
It’s not because I’m a book hoarder who’s out of control. I occasionally do a sweep through my shelves, land upon the books I know I’m never gonna read, or never gonna read again — the ones that I won’t miss if they’re gone.
And I haul those puppies off to donate to the library.
And then I feel a little bit happier when I look at my shelves, because all of the remaining books have been re-selected anew.
But this idea of pulling all my books off the shelves, picking each one up off the floor, and asking myself whether it sparks joy…  I ain’t doin’ it.
Here’s why:
I get that joy feeling (or not), simply by looking at each book on the shelf. Lots of them — most of them! — spark joy when I merely look at them. End of story.
That ugly green statistics textbook from college? Keeping it. It still sparks joy. (I know: not normal. But I’m ownin’ it: that statistics book makes me intensely happy.)
That single-volume encyclopedia of the Civil War? Keeping it. It still sparks joy. (My Civil War obsession years were delightful, and I stinkin’ love that book.)
My full set of Trixie Belden mysteries? Keeping them. They still spark joy. (I love having them on my shelves, and I’d be sad if they were gone.)
So I’m continuing with my occasional collection weeding ways.
And I’m not alone. Summer Brennan wrote about this phenomenon on Literary Hub. She says, “It’s a useful exercise to clear the cobwebs from one’s bookshelves once in a while, but don’t let anyone talk you into getting rid of your books if you don’t want to, read or unread.”
And I say, Amen. 
So… what’s your take on weeding your shelves?

8 thoughts on “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Weeding My Books

  1. I think I'm like you…I go through my shelves once a year maybe and eliminate any book I know I'll never read again, or that I'm no longer attached to, but I keep the majority of my books because they make me happy. Just looking at them and knowing I own them brings me joy, too. So I say, Keep Your Books for as long as you want! 🙂

  2. Nobody puts Trixie in the discard corner!

    I had to weed and weed before I left Korea and it HURT. I will gladly pare back with joy in other areas of my life, but the books? NO.

  3. I actually kind of like weeding my bookshelves every once in awhile. I like when they look neat, and I like the process of letting go of books I know I'm not going to read. I especially love when I can pass them on to other people. I'm not sure how much of that process "sparks joy," but it does make me happy.

Comments are closed.