My Bookish Life: Marie Kondo and Me – part 4

my bookish life

By now you may have guessed that I have been doing my KonMari so slowly it has taken about six weeks and I am still not done. I was inspired by her show “Tidying Up” when it came out at the first of the year, but didn’t have the chance to try her method myself as I was living overseas. Now that I have moved back home I am going through all of my belongings to find what sparks joy. My blog mini-series does begin with the show and then will continue on with her books, but also include other organizational-guru authors. If you have not yet read Part One go here , Part Two is here, and Part Three is here.

I am not saying it will take anyone else even half as long as it has for me, because it probably won’t. Aside from the fact I listen to audiobooks as I clean and therefore am not as focused, between each step I have taken breaks.  I have gone to visit friends and family, read books or watched movies, written and sent out resumes, did a little apartment hunting, attended a hockey game, went to the cinema and the local playhouse, endured a wretched week-long cold, etc.

Last week I posted about doing four of the five KonMari categories and what audiobooks I was listening to at the time, but now is the moment we have all been waiting for… Dealing with my book collection. We are talking at least a thousand books as I have seven bookcases that are jam-packed and overflowing. Add to this fact, while I was gone the past five years, both of my grandmothers were still passing down their books to my parents to keep for me. That’s a lot of books.

At some point before I decided to move to Europe, I had begun culling my books to make space on my shelves for new novels. However, my mom will sometimes borrow something from me and doesn’t seem to know how to put things back where she found it. Mum would just shove them anywhere; books pulled from shelves may have gone in boxes and vice versa, so I finally just gave up. I planned to redo it at a later date, but jumped on a plane instead.

Now I am back and get to try it all over again. This time I have told my mom, on pain of death, she has to tell me when she takes a book and from where she got it. Then she has to give it to me, straight into my hand, when she has finished reading the book so I can ensure the it goes to the right place. This may sound extreme, but when I left my shelves were organized by genre and author yet came back to find nothing but a big ol’ mishmash of a mess.

I started with the pile of closed book-boxes as I was fairly certain most were novels I had purged previously. I did have to take some out as those were part of various series I collect (thanks, mom *major sarcasm*), but managed to get that done in an afternoon.  I debated doing the open book-boxes next, yet those were the novels my grandmothers gave me while I was gone. Aside from never having seen what is in there and thus would get easily distracted, they also represent the last books my mom’s mother gave me as she passed away just before I could get home. I thought I might get a bit sentimental, and so chose to head to the shelves.

Purely from location, I decided to do the two bookcases nearest the stairs (my “library” is set up in the basement), which consists of Young Adult, Historical, SciFi/Fantasy, ChickLit, and Contemporary Romances. I would say I pulled maybe a little over one box for my buh-bye pile, but still have two full boxes I want to re-read before making a final decision. I know I am not supposed to do this as per Marie Kondo, and will likely actually ditch a lot of them in the end, but I don’t care. I simply cannot just toss a book just by looking at the cover.

Despite hating the thought of purging my books, I had been looking forward to this for so long. The past three months I have been obsessed with DiY/interior design youtubers (Mr Kate, Hermione Chantal, Alexandra Gater, etc) and they always have these gorgeous curated shelves, not to mention the photos I see everyday on Bookstagram. I want my shelves to look that good, yet somehow I lost my momentum to do it.

I had no trouble helping my fashionista bestie do her closet, and even snuck into my dad’s office while he was at work to give that room a bit of a reorganization. I seriously wanted to do a major overhaul in there, but knew he would flip and therefore settled for piles of neatness as opposed to a mad scramble. I rewatched a couple episodes of “Tidying Up” with my mom, but it just wasn’t enough. I helped her organize her dresser, but that was it. So why couldn’t I get back to going all KonMari on my novels?

It was time to pull out the big guns… I was going to the library! I got both of Marie Kondo’s books “Life-Changing Magic” and “Spark Joy”, along with the book that inspired her own KonMari method, and chose a couple of others as well. I am hoping by reading all of these it will inspire me once more to sort through my personal Mount Everest. Come to think of it, if I piled all my books up it might actually make a small mountain…

Coming up next will be my review of one of those books, but there will be more MK&Me posts in the future. Stay Tuned!


Author: JaimeKristal

JaimeKristal is a freelance editor and writer. She started her book review blog "Tales of a Booklover" for the enjoyment of sharing her love of reading, writing, and editing.

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