Recently I came across the Japanese word ‘tsundoku‘. It means
tsumu, to pile up + doku, to read, punning on tsundeoku, to leave piled up) Noun (informal) the act of leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piled up together with such other unread books
Now, pretty much every book lover will have one or more tsundoku around the house. I went through my shelves this afternoon and made myself a tsundoku shelf. I’m a little ashamed to say that some of the books in this pile have been there since *last* christmas!
And that’s not counting the books I’ve got virtually piled up on my kindle. Perhaps there should be a word for electronic book piles! I’m a sucker for the 99p kindle bargains, thinking that it makes perfect sense to buy the book now, when it’s cheap. After all, I can always read it later…
In previous years I’ve set myself a reading goal – to read so many books in a year, or to read all of my unread books. Perhaps this year I’ll make a concerted effort to at least read the contents of this shelf…
Do you have a tsundoku or two around the house? Is your kindle groaning at the seams?
Beth @ plasticrosaries.com
16 thoughts on “tsundoku”
Oh my god. I have tsundoku coming outbid my ears. They’re everywhere. I daren’t even count!
Er, that’s ‘out of’ my ears, of course.
ha! funnily enough, that’s how I read it 🙂
I love that there’s a word for this, because yes, I have these piles. I like how you dedicated a whole shelf to it. That’s what I should do, to remind me not to neglect all the unreads on my shelves. 🙂
it’s a fantastic word, isn’t it? I’d love to see your tsundoku shelf if you do one 🙂
Finally did it and blogged about it: http://kaitlinthrogmorton.com/2015/02/26/tsundoku-unread-books/. Thanks for the inspiration!
Tsundoku is an art form and something to be proud of 🙂 yours is much tidier than mine though – my whole house is probably a shrine to the word – I’ve written a post about it myself 😉
Drop me a link and I’ll pop it in the blogpost!
Mine is only tidy as my daughter wanted to play bookshops – we decided that I’d ‘buy’ the books I hadn’t read yet, so she sorted them out for me!
Haha not a bad use of free labour there 😉 smart move – I need older children haha. Mine’s here, as rambly as usual 😉 – http://plasticrosaries.com/tsundoku/
My Kindle definitely has tsundoku issues. I am trying to make myself read one book that’s on there already for every new book I buy. It’s sort of working.
I tried that last year – I’d only allow myself to buy a book after I’d read at least one off the pile. I think that lasted until February!
Doesn’t everyone have a tsundoku?
Thanks for giving us such a useful word. 🙂
isn’t it brilliant? 🙂