The beautiful bookshelves of famous bibliophiles

These Books Spark Joy

Amid the decluttering craze, The Washington Post Magazine asked
famous bibliophiles how they live with their collections

By Amanda Long

Stuffed closets. Dangerous junk drawers. Crowded cabinets. Bloated bookshelves. All have come under the gaze of Marie Kondo and her legions of folding-frenzied fans. But none hit a nerve quite like the bookshelf. On an episode of her smash-hit Netflix special, Kondo advised a couple to edit their shelves, maybe get rid of a few. The Internet did what it does best: It went bananas.

How dare she come for books! #TeamClutter, meet #TeamCensorship.

Of course, there was a backlash to the backlash, with the expected explanation from Kondo that not all books gotta go. The visceral reaction, even without the social-media hyperbole, was hard to ignore. Books are more than objects. They are filled with ideas, stories, versions of ourselves, memories. Bookshelves are like your wardrobe: They send a message. And the message these famous book lovers shared with us is loud and clear: Books spark joy.

Read all of the interviews at The Washington Post Magazine.

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