I am so happy to share with you the second category in the KonMari Method, books. If you’re new here, welcome!
I’ve been using the extremely popular book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, to declutter my apartment in preparation for my June 2018 move. I started with clothes and am motivated to keep going.
As a reminder, I’m sharing my storage and organization once I’m settled into my new place. Now, I’m focusing strictly on purging. Without further adieu, let’s get to the books!
My Reading Habit History
I used to love reading. In fact, it was my mother who turned me on to books, namely fiction. She was a huge Stephen King and Anne Rice fan. If you are not familiar with these authors, they are extremely well-known in the horror and supernatural fiction genre. I know. Very gloomy and dark.
While I never grew to love their works, I was more interested in forensic fiction, novels with characters that could be called real monsters, including serial killers and psychopaths. Yes! Uplifting and happy books…NOT! Some of my favorite authors included James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, and Tami Hoag to name a few. I say included because I don’t read these kinds of books anymore.
Despite the thrill I got from reading these books, I would always be left feeling disturbed, unsettled, afraid. I found myself looking around the corner or laying in bed at night wondering who was outside my window. When I realized that my sense of safety and security was being negatively affected, I slowly drifted away from this genre.
For several years, I didn’t make much time for reading. It wasn’t until my early 30s that I developed a love for non-fiction, specifically self-help books. These days, I tend to go for books on productivity, personal development, and Christian living.
As for book collecting habits, I have never owned a lot of books. No home libraries with walls of bookshelves spilling over with books. My book spending habits are just as conservative. I tend to go the used route, hitting up the local Goodwill for $1 and $2 books. The idea of spending $10+ dollars on a new book that I will likely read once then donate (or store on a shelf!) goes against my frugal nature. My favorite source of books is the local library; nothing like a free book that you can get rid of once you’re done with it.
Like the clothes category, my KonMari books session was pretty easy as far as the amount of items I had to sort through. Unlike clothes, where I struggled a bit with letting things go, it was much easier; I had little to no attachment to any of my books, and was absolutely ruthless in my purging session. The books had to go!
The Book Purge
Let’s take a look at how I used to store my books.
Would you believe me if I told you that all of these books, with the exception of the lower middle left shelf, make up my books to read pile? Yes, it’s true. I actually decluttered my books last year, keeping only those that I was sure I was going to read. Truth is, I have not read any of them. And that lower middle left shelf? Those are old textbooks from my graduate school days.
I graduated in 2009.
In true KonMari fashion, I took all of the books off the shelves. Because I had limited floor space, I decided to use a few storage containers to corral the books.
Many of the books shown here are fiction, novels. And, yes, there are several Tami Hoag books. She’s one of the forensic fiction authors that I mentioned earlier. I saw them at Goodwill, thinking I would rekindle my interest in forensic fiction. I was wrong.
There are two cookbooks, the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, a classic, and Eat What You Love, filled with healthy recipes low in carbs and sugar. Nowadays, you can find recipes for any and everything online. Still, I like the idea of having a few cookbooks with simple recipes that I will actually try. I’m keeping them.
I started reading The Shack last year. It is an extremely popular (and somewhat controversial) book about a man’s tragic loss of his daughter, and his encounter with the Trinity. I wanted to like it (the movie was just OK), but I just couldn’t get into it. Instead of holding onto it, I’ll take it back to Goodwill for someone else to enjoy.
I’m going to keep most of my self-help/ mental health books. I think they’ll come in handy in my work with clients. I really need to finish The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s a tough read because it is quite technical. But, maybe there will be something in there to motivate me on this decluttering journey!
I am excited to read the two Brene’ Brown books in that pile, Daring Greatly and I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t). Brene’ Brown is a well-known research professor, author, and speaker, mainly on vulnerability. She is also a fellow social worker, which is awesome!! Check out her TED Talk on vulnerability; it’s really good.
Despite my faith in myself that I’ll eventually read all these books, I am giving myself the rest of the year. If I don’t read them, I’ll get rid of them. ALL of my textbooks are getting the boot. I haven’t opened them once since graduating in 2009. I used to think that it was somehow wrong to get rid of them. After all, I spent hundreds of dollars on them, and they helped me earn a degree, right? Wrong. Away they go!
Back To Goodwill They Go
Here are all of the books I am letting go of. It feels so good to rid my home of stuff, especially heavy and bulky things like books. The great thing is that none of these books will go to waste. I’m sure there’s someone out there who has been looking for at least one of these books. Hopefully, they’ll enjoy them and pass them along when they’re done, instead of holding onto them like I did.
What role do books play in your life? Any favorite authors? Like many others, do you have a hard time getting rid of books even if you’ve read them?