Sunday, March 01, 2020

About tsundoku

I love the Japanese word tsundoku, the practice of buying books and never actually reading them, the most profound retort to bloody Marie Kondo. And now the legendary journalist Jan Morris prompts the question, appropriate for St David’s day: what’s the Welsh for tsundoku?
“People always say: ‘Have you read them all?’” she says. “No. but I have an emotional attachment to them all. I pick an old book out and if it is interesting I read a few pages. I put letters and photographs and cards in them to find later.”


Andrea Charles said...

Never knew what the word “tsundoku” really meant until I read this short descriptive post by you Tim Footman. Thank you for taking your time and effort to explain the true meaning behind it and also the habit of one buying books but actually not reading it. Highlighting Jan Morris’s prompt, “what’s the Welsh for tsundoku?”was a direct hit on the nail.

VasanthMusicCoimbatore said...

I have always found your very fascinating because of being able to connect to you and your thoughts dear Tim. Thank you for showing us the fulfilment in practicing tsundoku, buying books and not actually reading them and instead inserting some old photos and letters for finding them later. I also have a similar interest when it comes to collection of Music. There is a set of tracks that I have purchased and I haven't heard them yet.