Deborah Levy in The Guardian:

Marie Kondo Can’t Have My Bookshelves

Deborah Levy responds to the Marie Kondo philosophy of getting rid of books that do not spark joy:

The backlash to Marie Kondo’s suggestion that we chuck out books that don’t “bring joy” shows how attached we are to physical books, even in a digital age. I think Kondo is very impressive. I like how she advises us to fold a shirt with love in our hands. Why not? All the same, I’m not going to give it a go because I believed Virginia Woolf when she advised female writers to kill the angel in the house. Hopefully, we did that with love in our hands. (Actually, I thought it was quite exhilarating when Kondo experimented with ripping books apart so they fit better on shelves. Perhaps it’s even a bit dada.)

It is true that in the current phase of my life, I have emptied my shelves of many books I have carried around with me for decades. I finally realised that I was not attached to them. Like a relationship that has neared its end, I lived in hope they might reach out to me.

[Edgar Degas: Bookshelves, (Study for “Edmond Duranty”) 1879.]

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