Friday, January 15, 2016

Review: Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

I will admit straight off the bat that I am a big fan of Marie Kondo's first book (in English), The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  This was the first book I have ever read that actually made the idea of purging my belongings seem incredibly enticing.  I've read many books and articles about organizing and getting rid of you stuff, but Kondo's very simple idea (basically, getting rid of everything that doesn't spark joy in you) struck a chord with me, as with many others.  This book really is genius.  But that's only half of the charm of Kondo's book--this is a truly bizarre book, and Kondo, at least for an American audience, is also bizarre.  The translator of this book did a truly brilliant job, preserving just enough of the odd logic and what I can only assume are ideas and concepts that are culturally specific to the Japanese to make this a book that manages to be at once a very practical and very clear manual for tidying, and a fascinating insight into a mindset that is very different from what we normally have to access to in western books.  

Kondo's new book, Spark Joy,  continues all of this, and is definitely a companion to her first book.  It is not really a stand-alone book, if you want to experience the true benefits and charm of the Kondo's concepts, but if for some reason, you just want a quick version of her first book, this could work for you.  This book is more practical and less philosophical than the admittedly rather abstract and at times philosophical first book.  Spark Joy offers detailed object type by object type tips for folding and getting rid of stuff.  There are little illustrations showing you exactly how to fold or store various types of objects. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot, and I was thrilled to be able to spend more time inside Kondo's strange and beautiful mind.  If you want purely practical information, I'm not sure Kondo is for you at all, but if you want your mind quietly blown, give her a try.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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