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Of Kondo and Condos

Books matter. But do books matter?

Not long ago I donated several boxes of books to the library. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve done this now.

From a collection that once numbered in the thousands, only a couple hundred remain.

A mountain of paperbacks when I moved from a large house in middle-of-nowhere North Carolina to a small apartment just outside of Charlotte.

A full three-quarters of my philosophy books when I called it quits after five years as a philosophy professor.

Still more paperbacks when my wife and I moved in together.

Hundreds more when we later moved into a Manhattan shoebox.

A bag here or there every time I get into the mood to organize.

Books have been a constant throughout my entire life. Saturday afternoons with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a new novel have been staples for as long as I can remember.

As a young academic, I accumulated mountains of books. But lately I've come to realize that while books are as important to me as ever, books are things that it's okay to let go.

For more context

My love of books may have doomed me to a life as a linear thinker.

What to read next

Sometimes important things are hard work.

Other items of interest

What is the true value of a book?

In which a love of books leads to a lot of schooling.

What is it that makes a book a book?