By James Colley, Sun 8 May 2022 13.30 EDT
I used to dream of owning a home with a library like the one in Beauty and the Beast. A ladder that glides along the impossibly high shelves filled with more books than you could read in 10 lifetimes. That was before I understood that the idea that you would have one house that you were able to live in for many years (and god forbid, add shelving) would itself be a fairytale.
Packing up these books, disassembling their low-grade flatpack bookcases, hauling them across the city and interstate, and trying to reestablish this budding library time and time again has made me thoroughly fall out of love with my old dream.
I do not wish to rid myself of every book, but I no longer wish to keep every book. At some point, I crossed the line from reader to hoarder and I need to go back. These are the books that do not pass the Marie Kondo test.
These books spark no joy. If anything, the many bookmarks still stuck less than halfway through them conjure embarrassment. I know I’m never going back to finish them. They know I’m never going back to finish them. It is time to end this charade.