Tsundoku (Japanese: 積ん読)
Acquiring books but leaving it unread while letting them pile up with other unread books.
I have hundreds of books; I don’t know precisely how many. I’ve read maybe 10%, maybe less.
It hasn’t stopped me from buying more books. Right now, my Amazon cart has almost 70 books to buy later and much more in my wish lists. And my Kindle library? Well, I’ve got more than 500 books there. Those 99¢ books are going to take all my money one day.
It drives my wife crazy. One, because to her it’s wasting money. Two, because I’m always on her case about how she’s not watching how she spends money. I could understand her feelings.
I sometimes feel powerless to resist the urge to buy a new book that piques my interest. Or if I have a particular need right now and come across a book, I’ll buy it immediately, even if that need dissipates soon after.
Then there are cases where I would buy a book on a topic, only to find that I’ve already purchased a similar book on the same subject before, but haven’t read it. Then I have two books on the topic that now remains unread. One of those topics is on procrastination; how fitting.
But why do it?
Because I thirst for knowledge, and I like to have it at my fingertips. And yes, I know much of that information is on the Internet, but you can’t be a book, where someone has taken the time to distil information on a topic and put it in an easily accessible format.
I used to feel down for not reading them all, but I don’t so much anymore. It’s worse for books that I started reading and didn’t like. I used to keep reading it, no matter how painful until someone told me, “life is too short, and there are too many good books out there to read, to read a shitty book.” Deep.
There are millions more books out there that I still haven’t read. I will never get to read them all, and I will never stop trying to. Maybe one day I’ll have a mansion with a library big enough to satisfy me. Until then, I’ll just put them in piles.