[Book Review] Spark Joy, Kondo

Didn’t Kondo Marie already write a book about getting rid of stuff? Why would there need to be another book? Which is the better one? Both have their advantages. Whereas The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up broaches the topic of reducing clutter in general terms, Spark Joy goes into specifics with drawings and applicable examples. If the former book is like an essay arguing a point, the latter book presents the execution on those arguments.

Rating: ★★★★☆ [4/5]

Both books could have been combined together.

However, part of the charm is that Kondo writes in a casual style that encourages you to discover the thoughts she outlines at your own pace. Editing the books down into one efficient book would cause core changes to their message. Kondo writes in a more passive voice style, which doesn’t make the reader feel as forced to change their lifestyle as if it were written in a commanding, active voice, which lets the reader to skim through sections that might be more interesting or relevant in the moment, than if it were an overly-academic textbook.

I do enjoy Spark Joy more, overall.

I am fond of instructional tutorials, I don’t mind the active voice, and I’m not exactly the target audience. My reading perspective is based on my journey of downsizing to an efficient lifestyle, which mirrors Kondo’s advocacy for a minimalist lifestyle, but isn’t quite similar because I have no concern over the presentation of my home. I just want my home to be as functional as possible, which means everything nonessential should go. It is a waste of time, gas money, and energy to clear out the nonessentials, but having freedom is nicer.

The former book encourages me to remove the clutter while the latter book shows me how.

Both books, in tandem, can help inspire a radical change in perspective from needing to hoard everything, regardless of value, to valuing what you own. Kondo wouldn’t ask you to critically assess why you like what you like, point-by-point, though, through her exercises, she does inspire the reader-participant to assess for themselves why they might want to keep a particular article of clothing. If the answer isn’t substantive, they will know for themselves if they’re being honest. That sort of honesty toward ourselves is difficult to attain.

We have to trust that we know what we actually want.

If I take a jacket I haven’t worn in years, try it on, and think to myself about the few situations I might ever wear it again, why would I keep it? Kondo’s writing style matches that sort of friendly inquisition where she could gently guide you toward helping you realizing for yourself whether you would wear a similar jacket to mine for “a special occasion” or never at all. Those sorts of inquiries aren’t best approached through active communication.

Deciding what we want in life, even for something insignificant like an old jacket compared to career changes, requires a sort of passive communication with one’s inner-self.

Endtable:
Quotes: None.
Sources: Reading the book.
Inspirations: Considering my thoughts on the book I read a while before to clear my queue of reviews of books I’ve recently read and photos I’ve taken so that I can move forward with new reviews and new photos.
Related: Other Book Reviews and essays on downsizing.
Photos: A bunch of things I would later donate, of which, I won’t say what.
Written On: October 7th [25 minutes, from 1:08am to 1:33am, WordCounter with 4 minutes on the second draft with WordCounter’s keyword density tool]
Last Edited: October 7th [Second draft; final draft for the Internet.]

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.