Book Review: Life-Changing Magic: A Journal, Marie Kondo (2015)

January 22nd, 2016 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

The small size makes it difficult to write in!

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free book for review through Blogging for Books.)

I’ve never read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, so I can’t say how well Marie Kondō’s companion journal embodies its principles or otherwise relates to the book. Nevertheless, I expected there to be some writing prompts taken from or otherwise inspired by the book, but … not so much. While the journal does include some choice quotes from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, these receive their own dedicated pages and aren’t really crafted in such a way that they can be used as a jumping-off point for a journal entry. The only real “prompt,” if you can call it that, is the mantra “Does it spark joy?,” which is repeated every fourth calendar page. Kind of disappointing.

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The layout for this three-year journal is pretty simple. Each page is dedicated to one date; you get six lines per year with enough space for three years (or fewer if you go over). There’s not a whole lot of space here, which is why I thought prompts would be helpful – to focus my writing and keep me on-track.

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The lines are college ruled, which is cool with me. On the downside, the pages are rather small, about 5 1/2″ wide x 6 1/2″ tall; the journal isn’t much larger than my Kindle, but it is a full inch thick. This makes it terribly difficult to write in: just halfway down the page, my hand begins to fall of the bottom edge. This is a pretty common annoyance I have with paperback-sized journals: sure, they’re a little more portable, but what good does that do if you can’t write (or write legibly) in the darned thing?

Otherwise the journal is lovely, with a clean, calming color scheme and layout. Aside from the scattered quotes, though, I can’t see how it differs from any generic, angel- or dog-themed, lined journal that you might find at Michael’s or whatnot.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

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