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the life-changing magic of tidying up

a special excerpt from Marie Kondo's bestseller


The moment you first encounter a particular book is the right time to read it.

Imagine what it would be like to have a bookshelf filled only with books that you really love. Isn’t that image spellbinding? For someone who loves books, what greater happiness could there be?

Remove all the books from your bookcases. Once you have piled your books [on the floor], take them in your hand one by one and decide whether you want to keep or discard each one. The criterion is, of course, whether or not it gives you a thrill of pleasure when you touch it.

What about books that you have started but not yet finished reading? Or books you bought but have not yet started? The problem with books that we intend to read sometime is that they are far harder to part with than ones we have already read.

There's no need to finish reading books you only got halfway through.

If you missed your chance to read a particular book, even if it was recommend to you or is one you have been intending to read for ages, this is your chance to let it go. You may have wanted to read it when you bought it, but if you haven't read it by now, the book’s purpose was to teach you that you didn’t need it.

There’s no need to finish reading books that you only got halfway through. Their purpose was to be read halfway. So get rid of all those unread books. It will be far better for you to read the book that really grabs you right now than one that you left to gather dust for years.

For books, timing is everything. The moment you first encounter a particular book is the right time to read it.

Adapted from The life-changing magic of tidying up Copyright © 2014 by Marie Kondo. Published Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

At Book of the Month, we embrace Marie's ideas about tidying up bookshelves and reading what you want, when you want! Join today and use code 30TOTE for 30% off and a free tote.

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We pore through hundreds of new books each month and select the five best we can find to share with our members. Check out this month's selections below.

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  • 1
    On the 1st we announce the five best books of the month.
  • 2
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  • 3
    Your books arrive in a beautiful box. Happy reading!

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