While perhaps people are making too big of a deal of Kondo’s old book beliefs, I don’t think the backlash is somehow connected to people thinking that she’s going to take their books away–that’s a real basic strawman arguement against her detractors right there.
Instead, many people rightfully criticize the ideology behind her asceticism. There’s a certainty to the practice, and while it’s probably unnecessary for a self-help guru to tack a “but only listen to this if it works for you” on to the end of every assertion, the popularity of this show supports the belief (that works for some people, largely due to cultural factors) that this is an objectively good and helpful practice.
As I mentioned previously in the What’cha Reading thread, I grew up in a multi-generational refugee/immigrant family. The idea of throwing perfectly usable things away is antithetical to the values I grew up with. That’s not to say that my values are compatible for everyone either, but I’m not going on TV, selling a method that is rooted in class and culture assumptions. Lord knows I’ve had to push back against MariKon for years now, when people try to tell me that I should try it. It’s imperialist, and condescending, and when people are unwilling to hear me out, it tells me what they actually think of me.
Plus, there’s just a basic irony of someone who’s published 2 wildly successful books telling you that you don’t need more books. Thanks, I think I’ll start with yours…
ETA: the Atlantic article linked in the main Waypoint article is a very good explanation of my antipathy towards this method/message. I’m not going to discourage anyone from pursuing it for themselves, should they want to, but I think that conversations around self-help can be awfully smug and self-aggrandizing, and I can empathize with the feelings that CrimsonBehelit was describing.