It means buying books and letting them pile up unread. The word dates back to the very beginning of modern Japan, the Meiji era (1868-1912) and has its origins in a pun. Tsundoku, which literally means reading pile, is written in Japanese as 積ん読.

3 Comments to “Reading”

  1. Hi GB. Hope as we all are you’re coping OK with your lockdown….Day 14 here in New Zealand so we’re half way along or thereabouts. Really enjoyed this post, as I have a tsunami of a tsundoku beside my bed…! It never goes away, and in fact rarely lessens in height as of course although I do over time read and keep the ones I’ve read books elsewhere, I keep adding to the tsundoku. In bookstores; Op Shops or at the Sunday Market, books jump off the shelf/ground at me; old 2nd hand, brand new, out of boxes etc. I’ll have to share my tsundoku on my FB motorcycle page as I really like the idea that it’s not only my obsession.! BTW, don’t think I’ve ever said but I hugely enjoy your (obviously deep) dives to find and post wonderful images and knowledge about the passing away of icons of screen & stage etc, especially the motorcycling association you often manage to unearth in your homage to their life. Luv your work mate {;~)> Cheers, Les

    • Les, thank you for the kind words. We’re just over a fortnight into lockdown here too. Though my work keeps me busy 8am-6pm. My bosses made sure we could continue work… weather was a smashing 70 degrees today. Wished I coulda taken the bike out… however I have an excuse tomorrow so my errand may require 2 wheeled traveling. Books are our bane here too. Shelves in every room and, like you, a pile by the bed of ‘next to read’. My wife gave me a diorama model kit for Christmas- it’s a miniature bookshop – complete with tiny shelves, a comfy chair and lots of small individual books to assemble. It keeps me out of trouble! Where about a in NZ are you? I can’t recall if you’d told me or not. Now I’m off to look for today’s blog entry… hmmm

  2. Hey HN. I’m iup on the North Shore in Auckland…200m from the sea and a string of beaches with cliff walks in between so we’re incredibly lucky to be in Lockdown (Day 16 today 😦 in such a lovely environment compared to many around the world. Also we’ve had incredibly benign weather despite heading into Winter, with no rain to speak of and glorious shortening but continually very fine days… Take care and stay safe mate…..Cheers, Les P.S. Haven’t photographed my tsundoku as yet or posted to my old bike FB page. A wee job for this long Easter Weekend 🙂

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