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?

Other Tsundokus:
Beth @ plasticrosaries.com

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

16 thoughts on “tsundoku”

  1. 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. πŸ™‚

  2. Tsundoku is an art form and something to be proud of πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ˜‰

    1. 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!

  3. 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.

    1. 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!

Leave a Reply to dave Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: