Friday, May 17, 2019

Doing KonMari Step 2: Books on Easy Mode

You may have seen my previous post about my efforts to apply the "KonMari Method" to my life before we make our upcoming overseas move after seeing "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" on Netflix. The first category I had to organize was clothes, and the second was books.

I'm just going to admit, this one was super easy. M and I got rid of almost all of our books before we moved to Kenya, so we simply didn't have that many. The first picture of this post - one shelf on a not-so-large bookshelf - was actually all we had to go through when I started tidying books. The majority of the books are either gifts from loved ones or written in languages that Kindle (or any e-reader I've found) doesn't support very well. Ultimately, I decided to part with some of them, including a stack of science fiction books with origins I couldn't recall and some church materials I'll donate to my friends here.

Going through these books did bring back a lot of happy memories, though. Seeing Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome reminded me of reading that book and discussing it extensively with my wonderful sister, debating morality and reliving my philosophy major days. I also rediscovered my signed copy of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn, courtesy of my dear friend S (the one who visited in February). Then, uncovering my old Arabic notebook allowed me to share a good laugh with M over the absurdity of Arabic numbers, with their seemingly-arbitrary switch-offs when it comes to singular v. plural, masculine v. feminine, and which vocalizations (i.e., word endings) to use. I've been studying Arabic for years, and the numbers still blow my mind.

This was that same bookshelf when I was done tidying our books! It felt good to go through them and keep only the ones that continued to spark joy. I will add that M and I are both avid readers who are always reading at least one book at a time together, so this is totally possible even for bookworms! We've made it work by relying on our e-readers - in my case, Kindle, and in his case, his smartphone. As you can see below, I have almost 100 books on my Kindle and the list keeps growing. I've been reading almost exclusively on a screen for years now, and I enjoy not only the feel of it but also the features such as searching for key words, instantly looking things up in the dictionary, digitally highlighting my favorite quotes, and seeing what sentences have been commonly highlighted by other readers. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it! (It just might help with tidying up, too.)

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