Saturday, May 4, 2019
God bless you, Ms Kondo
I don't subscribe to the minimalism aesthetic espoused by people like Marie Kondo - I'm here to build my own library, and it's one that is fucking full of joy - but I'm so grateful for what she's doing.
Secondhand bookstores are my favourite kind of stores, and have been slowly dying for decades. A large part of the readership have gone fully digital, while using internet auction sites and charity stores to get rid of their books, bypassing the humble shop completely. Cities that used to have dozens of stores now have just a handful, and the world is a worse place because of this.
And then along came Kondo, and the few stores that remain are suddenly getting these amazing collections of books, as everybody goes through their stuff and gets rid of everything that doesn't mean anything to them. The few shops in town are suddenly full of brilliant books that have been unlocked for the public.
The best bookstore in my town, which narrowly avoided extinction recently by moving into a church building, is heaving with great stuff - I head in there every week and always find something new and fascinating. The shelves housing its comics and graphic novels section is heaving with a huge variety of printed beauty, from mid-80s Marvel fun to some ultra low-press offerings from all over the world.
I still get rid of a lot of my books and comics, just like anybody else, but I still have thousands and thousands of the fuckers because I always judge people by their bookcases, and expect the same in return. And I always come out of Hard To Find Books every week with something, whether it's another weird benefit comic I'd never heard of, or that Archie v Punisher comic I'd always wanted to read, or a bunch of Hellboy that I needed to plug the gaps.
Because you might not want these things cluttering up your precious living space, but they sure as shit give me some joy.