Book lovers are not happy about the way organization guru Marie Kondo recommends handling books in her new Netflix series “Tidying Up.”
What’s “Tidying Up”: Based on Kondo’s wildly popular book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” released in 2011, “Tidying Up” follows Kondo as she helps regular people transform their living spaces through the minimalist organization.
- Dubbed the KonMari method, Kondo’s organization system focuses on tackling categories — books, clothes, papers — rather than rooms.
- Kondo instructs cleaners to pick up each item they own and ask themselves if that item sparks joy. If it does, she says, keep it. If it doesn’t, thank it for its service and toss it.
Why book lovers are upset: In her book and on the show, Kondo says the value of books lies in the information they contain and that “there is no meaning in them just being on your shelves.”
- If you have a lot of unread books or books you hang onto in the belief you’ll reread them one day, Kondo recommends getting rid of them.
- She says that as a result of practicing the KonMari method herself, she owns no more than 30 books. Kondo personally considers that number ideal.
- In her book, Kondo writes that she once ripped relevant pages out of books that she found sparked some joy. It was an experiment that ultimately didn't work for her and resulted in those pages being discarded later.
The response: Kondo’s advice was not well-received by many book lovers or collectors, who took to Twitter this week to express their grievances with Kondo’s method.10 comments on this story
- Novelist Anakana Schofield called the idea that books should spark joy “ludicrous.”
- “Literature does not exist only to comfort and placate us. It should disturb + perturb us,” Schofield tweeted.
Lots of readers expressed dismay at the idea of getting rid of their books or ripping pages from books.
In contrast, others jokingly referred to the angry responses as overreactions or insisted upset readers were missing the point.
Librarians were quick to jump on the scene with some gentle humor and encouragement for those willing to take Kondo’s advice.
What do you think about Kondo’s book advice?