Tsundoku

I’m a bit late having my lunch break today because I’ve had so many things to do. That also means I don’t have much time to post much.

I was staring vacantly around my sitting room after eating my sandwich when I noticed this pile of (six) books.

I remember putting those books there a few weeks ago when there there was a little game going around on Twitter based on the Japanese word Tsundoku (積ん読) which means the practice of acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them. I do that a lot, so I’m quite pleased there’s a word for it. The term originated in the Meiji era (1868–1912) as Japanese slang.

The Twitter game involved showing a stack of six books acquired but unread and inviting six others to do likewise. Most of my books are currently unreachable, either in my office in Maynooth University or in storage back in Cardiff, but most of those I do have in my flat in Maynooth are unread because those are the only ones I brought here. This has made it difficult to display an array of books behind myself during Zoom meetings and the like.

I’m not sure I’ll get around to reading any of them any time soon. One of the reasons for that (besides lack of time) is that I really need to get new specs as my eyesight is deteriorating and quite a few of these books have rather small print. I wonder when I’ll be able to have an eye test?

One Response to “Tsundoku”

  1. I have, to my amazement, emptied my own Mount Tsundoku. Just this past week I finished the last physical book I had bought with the intention to read later. I have a couple of comic books and magazines and such to get around to, and then a bunch of e-books. (The University of Chicago Press will offer one free e-book per month — their choice — and I find enough of them interesting that I pick them up, but I don’t have the e-book-reading habit.)

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