Never trust someone who claims that they dislike books. In fact, if you’ve ever met someone claiming that books are pointless, I highly suggest you ghost them. You don’t need that negativity in your life. I mean, who can’t resist the appeal of a new story just waiting to be read? Or smelled? *Raises hands*
Watching Marie Kondo work her magic on Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, I wasn’t really taken aback by how nonchalantly she was about books. And while I definitely don’t agree that one should only own a small number books–I own over 500 strewn out all over– but, hear me out. Her philosophy isn’t to throw away any and all books. Her process goes much deeper within...the spine. Get it? The spine of the book and–moving on.
I’d love to say that all of my books have a reason for why I own them. From the story of when I laid eyes on my first John Green novel (it was an ad for Paper Town on a Teen Vogue issue back in 2008), to the time when I was gifted a first edition print of Les Mis, each of my books holds a priceless memory. But I decided that enough was enough–it was time to clear out and clean out.
After all, not all of the books held a happy memory.
I grabbed all of my books and threw them on a pile on my bed. I’ll save you the image of all of them toppling over my dog and me, but I digress. I took a deep breath in and allowed myself to feel the memory of each book, good or bad. It was a process for me–partly because I love the feeling that words give me. Learning new words, listening to a new song, anything that sounds poetic gives off a wondrous vibe.
I ended up donating over 50 books. Now, one might think that it wasn’t enough since I have so many, but it felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I donated books that didn’t spark joy, carried terrible memories, or weren’t going to benefit me in the future. Everything else that I saved, I knew in my heart of hearts that I would not only revisit them, but I would cherish them forever.
Some could say that books saved my life. I like to think of the opposite. By preserving words, I’m able to share them with my loved ones. Words, sentences, phrases–all of them under one roof, just waiting to be opened and read. What’s more beautiful than that?
Marie, thank you for teaching us the value of a good book, and the love that we have inside to keep their words floating in our hearts.