Feb 23, 2018


I went through my books this week. I really tried to listen to my feelings again as I decided whether to keep or discard a book. It was surprising again how clearly the items 'talked' to me!

I started by piling all of my books and magazines on one table. Most of my books were in one bookshelf but some of them were around the house - the devotional books, music books and cook books as well as the some books I am currently reading.

I had some books that have troubled me since I decided to keep them during my first round of KonMari. Whether I held on to them because they are classics and I have got them in a special time in my life or because I enjoyed them a lot at the time I acquired them.

Now I let go most of these books that primarily have other values of importance than joy. Like a couple of books I have got as a gift from dear friends but don't plan on reading anymore. Or my biology book from high school. I liked the biology classes and the book is thick and heavy with great illustrations.

Nevertheless, I still retained some books that don't spark joy but have other value, like my master's thesis. I went through a lot of trouble to complete that and most likely it is the only extensive scientific research I will ever do. I also kept a couple of comic books I have got from my husband in a special occasion.

Furthermore, I decided to keep a book that explains the liturgical structure of divine service - I haven't seen such an explanation anywhere else and it is written by the pastor of my first congregation I attended to. 'Gospel Transformation' is a book that I studied with a women's group while we lived in Munich and it changed my relationship with God's word and Jesus. I'm not likely to read it ever again but I want to keep since I want to remember that time in Munich. Also 'Jalo soturi' is a book about Christian faith and I studied that with a group of ladies in Finland. There are not many such study guides in Finnish and I once knew the person who wrote the book.

I can now also clearly tell which of the books belong to my 'hall of fame' that Marie Kondo discusses in her book. The ones that really make me feel sparks of joy are 'Kodin pehmeät sävyt' (beautiful pictures of beautiful houses), 'Stitch 'n bitch' (combines social interaction with knitting), 'Annan Nuoruusvuodet' (ooh those precious memories from my childhood and such a beautiful piece of writing) and my Bibles.

Marie says I should only keep the hall of fame. But I'm not ready to part with some of the other books that are not so fully sparking joy. I guess I should have some of my books in the 'sentimental' category but I like to keep them with other books.

An interesting detail is that I decided to discard my Finnish book of KonMari and buy the English 'The life-changing magic of tidying up'. I read the book in English in the first place and the Finnish version appears rough and weird to me. I do not enjoy reading it. I decided to order the English version on Amazon and I like it way better. I have to say, one reason is aesthetic: the English version being turquoise and white matches better with my English 'Spark joy' and 'The life-changing manga of tidying up'. The Finnish 'Konmari' is loud pink.

So in the end my selection looks like this:

I still have to look up where to donate some of my Finnish books. The English ones I try to bring to Half priced books. I hope they accept them. I'm not so familiar with the local donation sites yet as I donated most of our unwanted items already in Finland. But if I am to become a Konmari consultant, I should get to know that kind of places around here too.

I now put all of my books in one empty shelf in my wardrobe. I wonder if I really can fit all of my important things in our bedroom closets and drawers!


The next category is papers. My, or our, papers are well organized. But I have to admit that since I organized them the last time about one and a half years ago, I haven't looked at them almost at all. So I think the moment has come that I do even more serious discarding. I'll be back next week with a report on that!

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