I came across an unfamiliar word. ‘Tsundoku’. It refers to buying a book and leaving it unread, typically stacked with other bought and unread books.

I have a tsundoku problem. I may need Tsundoku’s Anonymous or something. TA. Anyone know a good TA support group?

I have a stack of books… wait… two stacks of books on my bedroom floor as we speak, that I recently bought and have not read. Well, I’ve read one.

And I agree with Lagerfeld, here…


Image credit: Choose and Book

Admittedly, I am not 100% sure on how to buy time. But I do like the concept. And I appreciate what is being said here. It isn’t just about books, either. If you want to commit to something, do yourself a favour and see it through completely. Don’t become a tsundoku of life.


20 thoughts on “Tsundoku

  1. Tsundoku..I love the word, having said that I admit I need the Tsundoku Anonymous too. The reason for my Tsundoku is obvious, atleast to me. I feel that having bought the book,I now can read the book anytime I want whereas the books I do not have ownership to needs to be tended immediately.

    I cant wait to work this word into a conversation!

    • Precisely! I think my tsundoku arises from the same reasons. I get the feeling Tsundoku Anonymous would be reasonably popular, haha. I will endeavour to use it in conversation, too. It’s a fun word!

  2. Welcome to the club… I’m very good at buying too many books, I do read them eventually, but I still buy more even though I know I have a ton at home which I still need to read. But there are worse addictions than buying books me thinks.
    I came across a new word the other day, a really funny one actually. Defenestrate. It was in Midnight’s Children, which I’m reading at the moment (see I do read). It means to throw someone or something out of a window. It made me laugh a lot when I found that out.

    • Defenestrate? I love it! I will have to use that… somehow. Maybe I’ll turf something out a window just as an excuse to use the word in a sentence, haha. At least you manage to read them eventually, Kudos to you! It is so easy to buy more than we’re currently capable of reading though. And if you’re like me, you buy in phases, so you tend to grab heaps at once. So of course a bunch are going to sit around a while.

      • I know, I felt exactly the same way, I want to use it all the time, but it’s difficult to fit into a regular sentence, haha.
        Yeah, but eventually can often be in five years time for instance, I still have some books I bought as a child that I still need to read. And yes I tend to buy in bulk too, especially if there’s a sale on or something. I think I probably buy a pile of books every two months, sometimes every month. I always have a bigger pile in my hand than I leave with though, I force myself (however painful it is) to put books back.

  3. When you launch this group, I’m on board as a charter member. I actually have three piles: must read; like to read but unsure I’ll get to them and; like to read but they just gather more dust. It’s often a shifting between piles.

    Don’t become a tsundoku of life. Brilliant! Consider the phrase stolen. πŸ™‚

    • That sounds like a lot of tsundoku! Definitely a charter member, haha. Good luck moving through those piles!
      Thanks, Eric, glad you liked it. Steal away, I’d be honoured!

  4. Pingback: For Me?! You Shouldn’t Have! | My OCD Diaries

    • Oh wow. That’s a serious guilt trip. That’s horrible! Poor books. 😦 I would have read and read and never stopped. Amazing how effective a motivator guilt is.

  5. My problem is owning beautiful cookbooks that I’ve never cooked a recipe out of. I realize I now have more recipes left than the days left in my life, even if I live to 100. Plus I love recipes online … Is there a term for this?

    • I love looking at cookbooks! Food is amazing. I have no idea if there’s a term that fits all that, but I am pretty sure there would be plenty of people in the same boat. You’ll have to try only the most delicious looking ones of all! πŸ™‚

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