Tsundoku is a Japanese term that means “acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them. It is also used to refer to books ready for reading later when they are on a bookshelf.”.
I totally do that all the time.
I had this
(hobby || problem || mania) for a long time but I didn’t know there was a term for it.
It started 20 years ago back in University when I discovered that when connected to the Campus ethernet (no WiFi yet!) we had access to a huge library of very interesting PDF books.
I spent my afternoons downloading the ones I found interesting to my iBook.
You never know when a book might come handy, and of course I didn’t have the money to purchase books just like because “they might come handy later”.
Today I like to collect actual physical books, and ebooks. While the convenience of an ebook is handy, because the moment you want to read it you can download it to the Kindle or Apple Books, I like the object.
I don’t have a huge pile of them, but I have a good library of books. Mostly personal productivity / nonfiction books.
I discovered a long time ago that technical books get old really quick. And most of the time they are full of information you’ll never need. For those, the digital format is much better.
But for books that are somewhat timeless, or could easily last decades, there’s space for them in my library.
I rarely read books from start to finish. I’d say I finished 20% of the books I am watching with my eyes right now.
Yet I keep buying new ones.
I like that there’s still so much I can learn from them. If I don’t pick it up from the library or Amazon, I might forget about it. Some books stay in the wish list for months or years before I decide to purchase them. Some others are just bought on a whim, the minute I see them.
Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them ― Arthur Schopenhauer
From time to time when I don’t know what to do I pick a book and read a couple pages.
It helps that I buy nonfiction, so I can jump at any page of a book and get value from it.
We buy books because we believe we are buying the time to read them - Warren Zevon
I’m totally fine with knowing I’ll never read some books.
I have one book that everyone recommends yet I haven’t reached page 10. One day I’ll get to that, too.
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