Wednesday, May 13, 2015

KonMari- Books 2015

Oh my gosh, we had a major book problem! That's over now!

No, it's not. So let's start with me: I had books from childhood, college, graduate school, and law school. I thought I had gotten rid of most of the books from childhood and college but when my dad passed away I discovered that my parents had actually put a lot of my books in storage. (Storage, by the way, is the world's most evil form of money-waste. I mean you guys have seen those reality shows where people bid on other people's storage lockers right? So very depressing.)

But just to obfuscate my problem a little, Kevin and I had combined our books. Now under the KonMari system, Kevin has a special book dispensation. He's a creative writing professor so books are his job, hobby, and passion. That means that Kondo believes that it is totally legitimate for him to keep more books than the rest of us should keep.

March 2015
Before: Kevin and I had our combined fiction books here
(not pictured: nonfiction and poetry)

So the first thing I did was un-combine our books. I had him double check before I got rid of anything, and he found a book I didn't know was mine, and he rescued a few that were actually his. There were some books that we both owned but hadn't been reduced when our libraries were combined because there were different translators or notes in the books.

KonMari- Books 2015
Kevin's fiction books after I took mine out- not a big difference! (Nonfiction equally huge.)

I did my books pretty quickly because I was so excited after clothing. The measurement is still if the book sparks joy. If it's your favorite book and you reread it regularly- keep it! If you just love looking at the cover on your shelf- keep it! If you've been meaning to read for years but haven't, sorry, set the book free so someone else can read it. If you read it, and you're done with it, thank it, and send it on to its next home.

I got my fiction to about 70 and my nonfiction to about 20 books to keep, and 25 to force myself to read before donating. Since my original purge, I've gotten rid of a few more that I realize do not bring me any joy, so it's still a work in progress.  But I'm happy with how little space they take up currently, and that they're all in one place. In a perfect world though, my bookshelf would be closer to a list of my favorite books: We Were Flying to Chicago, The End of the Affair, Gilead, A Brief History of Time, a few others, and of course, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Books 2015
All my books after (except the to-read pile on my night table)

Confession time: I broke the KonMari rules and kept a bunch of books I have not yet read, but since then I've been actually reading them. They are sitting next to my night table and I read them (or at least confront them) daily.

KonMari- Books 2015
Books I am currently reading or re-reading before I decide their fate (1 borrowed).

Okay, so then, my other big problem was that I had kept about 26 boxes of my dad's books after he passed away.... but this is a much trickier situation because the books are part "books" category and part "mementos" category. So I'll save that for the next post.


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