Mary's library for weeding

Library Death Cleaning

Since I am working from home right now, I have set up shop in what we call “the library.” Most of the stuff in this room are books, pictures, and some miscellany from family. This room is more for reading and not working. However, I wanted to keep library work separate from my other stuff, so I used this room so I could spread out.

We have a LOT of books in this room. Most of the time, I don’t pay attention since I mostly read library books. I can’t remember the last time I looked at titles in here. Combine this with the fact that I turned 60 last month, and we have known people that have been sick – and in some cases died – from COVID-19, I had a literal Swedish Death Cleaning moment. I am not planning to die soon, but I have decided that it’s time to get rid of our detritus throughout the house, starting with this room.

marriage of 2 times great grandparents in family bible

The Life Changing Magic of Library Maintenance

As a co-owner of this little corner of the Internet, I feel obliged to weigh in on Marie Kondo’s comments that had book lovers twitchy and defensive. Kondo’s philosophy is about a “less is more” lifestyle and advises the book people to let go of titles that don’t spark joy. Many of Kondo’s critics took issue with her suggestions of downsizing a personal library. The rallying cry of “you can never have too many books” was heard across the Internet.

Content vs Physical Book

Before everyone gets their book jackets in a twist, it is time to let go of the idea that books by themselves are sacred. Is it the actual book or the contents within? A public library exists to help people navigate life by having access to the information they need to make decisions. Sometimes that information is digital, video, audio, or a plain old book. It also is anything from romance fiction to a detailed 1,000 page tome on the life cycle of a fruit fly.