Weekend Plus Desk :
Just like reading books is a habit, for many people, hoarding books also is. If you have a habit of picking up books and never quite ..." /> Logo
07th-Sep-2018

Do you hoard books and never read them? There’s a term for it

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Weekend Plus Desk :
Just like reading books is a habit, for many people, hoarding books also is. If you have a habit of picking up books and never quite get around to reading it, the Japanese have a word for it - tsundoku - a term used to describe a person who owns a lot of unread literature.
The word doku can be used as a verb to mean ‘reading.’ The tsun in tsundoku originates from the term tsumu - a word that means ‘to pile up.’
Tsunde means to stack things up; while oku means to leave for a while.
When all these words are put together, it gives rise to tsundoku - which literally means piling a stack of books up!
The word is not new. It is just that it’s little known. Tsundoku dates back to the Japanese Meiji era (1868-1912). The phrase ‘tsundoku sensei’ is said to appear in a text that dates back to 1879, and is likely a satirical about a teacher who had a lot of books but never read any of it. While it seems to be an insult, it is used in Japan without any stigma or ounce of insult attached to it.
Buying books generally give people a feeling of comfort, even if it means stacking them up one after the other and never finishing any of it.
It is a good feeling to have a bunch of books lying around for you to revisit anytime. So, what do you choose - to be defined by tsundoku, or getting around to read them before the burden of the stack gets too heavy to take? n