Earlier this year I read a book called "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kondo. I have read a lot of books on minimalism but this one resonated with me. To start, any book that has "life-changing" in the title is going to catch my eye because that is one hefty claim to live up to. I mean if a book about tidying up after myself is going to change my life, it must have some amazing bits of wisdom. And while most of the ideas in the book were not exactly life-changing, one of them was good (rolling my clothing when packing for a vacation), one of them was really weird (but don't roll your socks together because they look like sad potatoes sitting in the drawer) and one of them was actually transformative. Kondo says that if you are having a hard time letting go of an item, you should thank it for its service and the role that it has played in your life. Thank you, old coffee maker, for making my coffee every morning. You did your job well but now have a new coffee maker. I can now give you to someone else who can use you and appreciate you. I admit it feels strange talking to inanimate objects, but thanking them and knowing someone else will be able to use them does make me feel better about letting them go.
The same holds true when it comes to letting go of books. Library books have a life cycle; they are purchased, cataloged, put on the shelf, checked out by readers, read from cover to cover and then (hopefully!) returned to the library. But there is one more step in that cycle; they are let go. We thank them for bringing joy to our lives. We thank them for opening up new worlds to us and sometimes we even thank them for making us downright mad about an injustice. And finally we let them go to make room for more books that will bring us joy, open up new worlds and even make us mad.
Stop by the FABL book sale area of the library to find fabulous deals on books that we have let go, visit us online at www.beloitlibrary.org, like us on Facebook, and check out these new books available at your Beloit Public Library:
"Drop the Ball: Achieving More By Doing Less" by Tiffany Dufu. Dufu recounts how she learned to reevaluate expectations, shrink her to-do list and meaningfully engage the assistance of others?freeing the space she needed to flourish at work and to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships at home. (Book Description)
"The Library Book" by Tom Chapin. Using the lyrics to Tom Chapin and Michael Mark's "The Library Song," this picture book celebrates the magic of reading and of libraries. (Book Summary)
"The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact" by Dan and Chip Heath. While human lives are endlessly variable, our most memorable positive moments are dominated by four elements: elevation, insight, pride and connection. If we embrace these elements, we can conjure more moments that matter. (Book Description)
- Jeni Schomber is the Youth Services Director at Beloit Public Library