The Internet Is Divided Over Marie Kondo’s Approach To Books
Some book lovers are reacting as though Kondo told them to burn down the Great Library of Alexandria.
New Netflix series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo has inspired a legion of viewers to question whether their possessions spark joy. But some book lovers are taking objection to her suggestion that maybe the mountain of unread literature clogging their bookshelves is less a joy tinder than actual tinder.
In Kondo’s KonMari cleaning method, she encourages people to examine whether an item “sparks joy” in them, and to let it go if it doesn’t. Since her new Netflix series premiered, social media has been flooded with photographs of carefully organised sock drawers as people extol the virtues of our new cleaning queen, long may she reign.
The fact that #KonMari devotes a whole category to books in and of itself proves her respect for them. I mean, imagine the outrage if she lumped them in with komono.
— Andrea Benvenuto (@dreabenvenuto) January 5, 2019
One of the categories she uses to divide the task of tidying is simply “books” — not insignificant considering that “komono” covers the kitchen, bathroom, garage and all miscellaneous items. However, it turns out that many people are incredibly attached to their books, as well as what they feel having books says about them as a person.
Many book enthusiasts have not taken kindly to the suggestion that books are objects that can be culled, reacting as though Marie Kondo’s opinion on how people can declutter their lives — advice that nobody is under any obligation to follow — is akin to her burning down the Great Library of Alexandria.
Do NOT listen to Marie Kondo or Konmari in relation to books. Fill your apartment & world with them. I don’t give a shite if you throw out your knickers and Tupperware but the woman is very misguided about BOOKS. Every human needs a v extensive library not clean, boring shelves
— Anakana Schofield (@AnakanaSchofiel) January 3, 2019
Wait Marie Kondo is telling people to toss their books? THEIR BOOKS? pic.twitter.com/QQxAXwk3Sq
— Joanna Robinson (@jowrotethis) January 4, 2019
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
Some of it appears to come down to a misunderstanding of what sparking joy means, as though Kondo is demanding people throw out intellectually challenging books and any novel with a sad ending. (Spoiler: She isn’t.) Some are repelled by the idea of giving up on reading all those books that they are definitely going to get to some day eventually.
And some seem to think that having pillars of dusty tomes towering around you is just an enriching life choice, even though open access to a wide variety of literature is literally what libraries are for.
people that think that marie kondo is demanding that we blindly get rid of books and other things we love are people that don't really understand the konmari method at a base level
— DDDDAAAAVVVVEEEE!!!!!!!! (@scrotumnose) January 4, 2019
Y'all, you should absolutely be getting rid of books you no longer give a shit about/that you only own because it makes you feel better about hypothetical visitors seeing your shelves, let Marie Kondo help you have room to buy even more books
— Shannon Watters (@shanito) January 4, 2019
Others have been quick to point out that stacks of untouched books are good only for preserving their owner’s self-image, or for pressing flowers. Further, getting rid of some books you don’t love makes room on your overburdened shelves for books that you do.
Marie Kondo’s KonMari method is a mere suggestion to help people get their living space in order, not a militant demand that we burn our books. It’s fine if you want to donate all your books in favour of becoming a frequent library patron. It’s also fine if you are happy sleeping atop a dragon’s horde of printed pages. Nobody is making you throw out that strange French novel you found on the train (which you are definitely going to read once you learn French).
But maybe it’s something to consider.
I cant believe Marie Kondo said to destroy all books and then broke into peoples’ houses individually and made them eat all their books and then when they tried to protest she said “don’t talk with your mouth full of books, bookmouth” and all the cool kids laughed at them.
— Sam Sykes (@SamSykesSwears) January 5, 2019
i can’t believe marie kondo said “ALL BOOKS ARE USELESS TRASH” and told everyone to take a piss on all of their books and burn them to ashes
— SungWon Cho (ProZD) (@prozdkp) January 5, 2019
owning books doesn't make you a better person too many ppl shitting on marie kondo's opinion substitute owning things for having a personality
— wendy xu (@AngrygirLcomics) January 4, 2019