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Wadcutter 01-15-2019 11:09 AM

Could You Live With Just 30 Books?
Just read an interesting piece on this new Netflix show “The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art Of Decluttering and Organizing.” Wow, now there’s a title of a show that would keep me surfing for something else to watch, and who would ever guess that “decluttering & tidying up” is an art form? But my wife insisted on watching it last night so I watched it with her. The star of the show is a Japanese lady named Marie Kondo and concerning “book clutter,” (yes amigos, there is such a thing apparently), she claims that you need to limit your book ownership to 30. How she can up with that specific number I don’t know. She claims, and I quote: “The value of books lies in the information they contain, there is no meaning in them just being on your shelves.” She continues on to say that if you have a lot of unread books on your shelves, or books you hang onto in the belief that you you will reread them some day, get rid of them. She considers 30 to be the ideal number of books to own. And she says that if only parts of a book “spark joy,” (one of her favorite phrases I’ve noticed when it comes to holding onto ANYTHING), then you should consider tearing out those specific pages and tossing the remainder of the book. Obviously Ms Kondo is not a lover of the comforting fragrance of an old book.
Anyway, an interesting topic don’t you think? Personally, I ain’t buying it. I love my book collection (NOT clutter imho), and I’m not getting rid of any of them. Could YOU live with just 30 books? Btw, the show is a hoot because a lot of the people she helps are major league hoarders of everything imaginable and the “before & after” is truly amazing. If you are bored to death between the NFL Playoffs and the Super Bowl, check it out, it is kind of entertaing and funny.

Haasome 01-15-2019 11:24 AM

Been there, slept through that. But check out Netflix Food Flirts for a hoot.

Wadcutter 01-15-2019 11:35 AM


Originally Posted by Haasome (Post 5949194)
Been there, slept through that. But check out Netflix Food Flirts for a hoot.

Thanks Paul, never heard of it, I’ll give it a shot.

AX17609 01-15-2019 11:44 AM

There's a lot of talk about Marie Kondo. She hit Netflix right at the moment that people are making New Year's resolutions to clean up their lives. I watched several of the shows and think most of it is nonsense. It's hardly a secret that you'd be cleaner and more organized if you threw most of the stuff in your house. It's not brain surgery to figure that you ought to keep only the clothes you actually wear. Her four part catagorization makes no sense. Almost everything that's problematic is in the "miscellaneous" category. Her method of folding t-shirts is terrible and time consuming. Her suggestion that things in kitchen drawers be organized by size countermands the standard directive to organize by function. Books aren't empty clutter. They're my friends. Sure, I could cut down to 30, but I don't want to. Storing them is what bookshelves are for. I could go on.

PorkPieGuy 01-15-2019 11:45 AM

I could live with probably just 2-3 books at this point in my life. Probably one, actually.

I read and edit all day for my job, so the last thing I want to do when I go home is read. Plus, my kids are at the age now that the majority of my week is work, gym, help kids with homework, play and/or practice music, and church.

RedJoker 01-15-2019 11:52 AM

I could easily do that and we recently got rid of a bunch of books to cut the clutter. I prefer my books to be in the hands of other people, not on my shelf. I'm also one of those weird people that see the value in ebooks. While I prefer to read a dead tree, there is just so much convenience in being able to check out an ebook from the library without ever getting off the couch. That gives me access to a whole bunch of books without the clutter.

catdaddy 01-15-2019 12:25 PM

If we're talking non-digital books, I could easily do with just 30; and they'd be almost entirely reference-types. Right now, I have over 600 books in my Kindle library which are completely non-contributory to the clutter in my life.

fitness1 01-15-2019 12:59 PM

I'm pretty close - one small, two shelf book case (maybe 40" long)

Almost 4 years ago I sold off 80% of my possessions to move into my parents to help take care of my Dad. Everything I own fits into under 300 sq ft. Was in 1400 sq ft previously.

Very liberating.;)

Jaden 01-15-2019 01:03 PM

After university finished I had a few hundred then donated them away but kept:

The Iliad of Homer / Richmond Lattimore translation
Sources of Indian Tradition / c.1958 Columbia University text on ancient Indian philosophy pre 200 B.C.
Tao Te Ching / Richard Wilhelm edition
The Norton Anthology of English Literature
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
and a couple of Art History textbooks

Nyghthawk 01-15-2019 01:05 PM

It would be close, but I think I could. Since I have a Kindle I rarely read a paper book. I keep my poetry collection, some classic literature, my collection of religious texts from major world religions, and my tattered copies of Tolkien that I have read too many times to count. It might be closer to 45 than 30. :D

FrankHudson 01-15-2019 01:20 PM

The short answer is yes, but I don't want to.

I'm wacky. I consider books, guitars and recordings like some people consider nick-knacks or objects d'art. None-the-less I've compromised a bit with my household. I gave away a few hundred books about a year ago, and I've gone increasingly with digital equivalents.

I'm of the age when I need to face up to the "death cleaning" aspect of all that stuff I've accumulated.

Johnny K 01-15-2019 01:57 PM

I've managed to get by 55 years of life so far with less than 30 books, so yup.


Nymuso 01-15-2019 02:20 PM

I used to be drowning in books, so much so that I had to make periodic donations to the library or whomever would take them (couldn't just toss them.) With the advent of the Kindle all my pleasure reading resides there and until recently I retained only textbooks and related reference books until I retired.

Frogstar 01-15-2019 02:33 PM

So long as I can keep my digital equivalent, absolutely. I'm getting ready to move cross-country, so I'm already paring down the book and DVD collection quite a bit.

That part about tearing out the pages that are meaningful to you, though, that just hurts inside.

00Buck 01-15-2019 03:01 PM

i used to have a couple of hundred or so focusing on military history. I enjoyed having them and would reread something occasionally. Then I moved to a smaller house and decided to donate them to the local library. I thought they would make a good addition to their history section. Instead they sold them for $.50 each.

I probably have about 20 books now. When it creeps up to 25-30 I take them to the library - in a different town. :)

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