Personal Library Compression: Learning to Let Go of Books

book shelves book stack bookcase books

There’s been a bit of a row, a kerfuffle, a hullabaloo, a hurlyburly, a brouhaha recently over a woman named Marie Kondo and a meme spreading that’s raised the ire of a few book lovers. I’d never heard of Marie Kondo until this event. She’s a lifestyle writer who has a Netflix show about organizing and decluttering your home; of course I hadn’t crossed cultural paths with her. I only use Netflix to watch terrible anime Godzilla films and whatever old John Hughes movie just got drawn from the archives.

What’s the Kondo Crisis? I don’t want to rehash it, so here’s a brief explanation of how Marie Kondo’s book-tidying advice and a gag about book-hoarding clerics turned into the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. For my part, when I first saw the meme with a photo of Marie Kondo and the quote “Ideally, keep less than 30 books,” (without the lower half that constitutes the joke) I was skeptical about it. Meme skepticism is always healthy. And some of the anger directed at her misunderstood advice quickly turned ugly, so I was glad I took the time to find out the context of what was happening. 

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A Website Keeper’s Journey; Or, Why This New Site Exists

This may go long, but I need to get a few things into the open to explain why I’ve started a new website and blog.

Re-launching my author website was a long-overdue project. I had to say goodbye to a crusty, cranky old friend, the Blogger site I started 2007 but have hardly touched since 2014. It wasn’t even my first website: I’ve toyed with personal websites and blogs since the early 2000s, almost from the moment I even knew what a “blog” was. (Yes, Angelfire was involved.) Over those nearly twenty years—something honestly terrifying to write—I changed as a writer and discovered what I wanted from an author website and blog.

The first time I created a blog was with (shudder) LiveJournal. It was crude, and I wasn’t a published author yet with any clue about how to represent myself. When I started the Blogger site, I was more ambitious about publication, but the blog remained a wandering thing of shreds and patches. I’d ramble about bits of my life, haphazardly review a movie or book, post photos of my newborn nephew, and fill posts with more random blather. The site was a combination of a lark and a someone trying to hone his skill as a nonfiction writer. Not a combo that could work for long.

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