New blog design, sans bells and whistles

I’m doing Marie Kondo’s Konmari method of tidying up the house. I love her books. I started using her method in January but stopped after I got sicker, and was having trouble letting go of things. Now I’m back at it, with renewed determination. I just bought her new book, The Manga of Tidying Up, and it’s a delight from the first frame. I just love this woman.

I finished tidying clothes in about three days, and have now moved on to books. She advises leaving memorabilia for last, because it’s so emotionally charged, but I found books to be pretty charged and difficult to tidy. In the end I was able to get all my books onto just one of our three big shelves, with room to spare, and filled 7 brown paper grocery bags to get sold back to a bookstore. It was a triumph, but it was tough! Books represent so much. Giving away a book I meant to read but didn’t, felt like wasted potential. Something I should have learned but failed to get to. I had to continuously remind myself that if I’ve had them this long and haven’t read them, I probably won’t get around to it. Though that didn’t stop me from keeping a couple dozen for a “to read” shelf. We’ll see if I really get to those.

While pulling things off the shelf, I found a few blank books that both myself and my daughter had bought. I held each one in my hands – as you do (does it spark joy?) – and pondered why I never used them. I realized it was because the books were too fancy. I felt a lot of pressure when I went to use them.

It’s the same with the blog. I want to blog more but don’t, because all the newer blog themes are too fancy. I feel like “they” (whoever chooses themes for the database) wants me to create a product, something I should be selling. There’s nothing wrong with that, with creating a brand for that purpose. Who knows, that might be my path someday. But for now, and for the last few years, blogging has only been about building a connection with others, through mutual hobbies, and especially through sharing the burden of living with a chronic illness. It may sound strange, but when I feel like the blog theme – the “notebook” – I’m using is too fancy, that it wanted more from me than I wanted to give it, I didn’t want to write in it.

So, back to an un-fancy theme. There wasn’t even a place to put in a menu of social media icons. Now that’s ancient technology. All this theme wants is a title and a few paragraphs. For now, that’s exactly what I want to give it.


  1. erniek3 says:

    I honor your choices; simpler is easier. My problem is that all the stuff sparks joy. I have other mental methods (“someone else will need this now!”) for divesting the hoard. And somehow, we have more books than ever before. Asexual reproduction.

    • Sewbiwan says:

      Books definitely reproduce in a way that I don’t think science has been able to accurately explain, yet. I couldn’t believe I had seven bags to leave, and yet my shelf is still 80% full. And two of those shelves are “to read”! I know I said it was a couple dozen books, but I think if I counted, it’d be……higher.

  2. Elaine Bradtke says:

    I’m a librarian, books are an occupational hazard. That said, I try to borrow as many as I can from the library, and buy only things I will use again. I remember years ago getting rid of some books I used for a course in grad school and feeling such a relief that I felt I would never ever need to refresh my memory of the technicalities of Indonesian gamelan music (for some reason, it’s quite fashionable among music schools of a certain ilk to have gamelan orchestras, weird). But some books will never go.There’s a book by John A Lomax that my mother bought when it came out (before I was born). It’s part of the family.

    • Sewbiwan says:

      I completely get it. I have a book that my Grandpa owned. It’s inscribed with his handwriting. It’s a book of English poets, and I hardly ever sit down to read it (maybe one poem a year?), but I love it and will never give it up.

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