Out of sheer boredom (and mild frustration at Netflix never having what I actually want to watch), I came across Marie Kondo’s tidying up series. After one episode I was already feeling the urge to throw out literally everything in my closet, and after about three I had torn apart my entire bedroom, decluttering like a crazy person.
Then I came across my bookshelf.
Kondo advises parting with anything that does not, as she says, “bring you joy.” This means rarely worn clothes, old CDs, excess décor, etc. For books, Kondo personally adheres to a “30 only” rule, while also stressing that this restriction needn’t apply to bibliophiles.
I stood there, looking at my bookshelf, proud of my rapidly growing collection of fantasy, historical fiction, young adult, and gothic horror. I honestly meant to follow this process through to completion. I folded, I donated, I organized. But seeing those beautiful treasure troves so neatly stacked, I realized something: having such a wide variety of spell-binding, can’t-put-‘em-down stories is precisely what brings me joy. With books, decluttering is not an option — expansion is a necessity.
Image: Simer Haer/The Cascade