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Marie Kondo doesn't actually want you to throw out your books

Photo: Michael Loccisano (Getty Images)

Social media has a nasty habit of raging against things it barely understands, often as a joke, and one of the more recent targets of the public’s (possibly ironic) frustration is self-help guru Marie Kondo, the star of Netflix’s recent hit Tidying Up and the author of The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up. In her work, Kondo advocates for what she calls the “KonMari Method,” which is a system of decluttering your home that essentially says you should keep the things you like and get rid of the things you don’t like. This is an easy thing to pick up when it comes to clothes or random knickknacks, but newcomers to the KonMari lifestyle have taken offense when Kondo tried to apply this philosophy to books—as seen in this viral tweet that rejects the idea of throwing away books:

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IndieWire decided to get Kondo’s take on the backlash, and it unsurprisingly turns out that the whole controversy seems to be a willful misunderstanding of what Kondo actually believes. “It’s not so much what I personally think about books,” Kondo told IndieWire through interpreter Marie Iida, “the question you should be asking is what do you think about books.” She goes on to say that if the idea of someone getting rid of books or not owning a lot of books makes you mad, then that tells you “how passionate you are about books” and that you personally don’t need to worry about how many books you own. The idea is that if you don’t care about how many books you own—or Nutcrackers or clothes or whatever—then you shouldn’t feel obligated to hold onto them.

As for how one would go about getting rid of books, Kondo certainly doesn’t advocate for throwing them away or—as the people who are definitely mad ironically have suggested—burning them. She tells IndieWire that she always recommends that people donate books they no longer want to keep, which should ensure that they eventually find a home that does want to keep them piled up on a shelf forever. Again, though, this deserves to be reiterated: Nobody, not even Marie Kondo, is going to come into your home and destroy your books. (Unless this is part of a secret plan to convince everyone to put their guard down so she can easily sneak into our homes and take our precious books.)

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