Are you a person who keeps buying books without actually reading them? Do you feel tempted when you see new books while ignoring your unread books at home? Welcome to the world of Tsundoku or the art of collecting more books without reading them!
Tsunde, which means to stack, and oku, which means to leave it, are the two words from which the word Tsundoku is derived. The term derives from Japanese culture and expresses cultural admiration for the hobby of book collecting. The practice of Tsundoku involves buying books to read them, but for some reason, the books stay unread and pile up over time.
Reasons behind Tsundoku – Explained!
1. Book Sales
Nowadays, book boxes and curated book collections offered at a lower price are becoming more popular. It’s natural for people to be lured and opt for a box or collection when the cost of ten to twelve books is simply in thousands, and a single book is five hundred, leading them to purchase more books than they had initially intended. When one or two books can be finished in a matter of days or weeks, we feel sluggish in reading the other ten books, and the books other than the ones we actually need begin to pile up. Besides this, book challenges trigger impulse buying, resulting in unread books.
2. Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)
With #Booktok and #Bookstagram trends steadily rising, books are increasingly becoming the topic of conversation everywhere. We need to know something because everyone around us constantly raves about a specific book, and we want to be included. So we buy the book, which ends up being our status symbol or just a way of bragging about it.
3. Reading Goals
Remember that time of year when we promised ourselves that we would read two books per week and finish a hundred books before the end of the year? The fun fact is that such goals are rarely ticked off. Having high hopes is one thing, but some people go too far and purchase all the books beforehand, resulting in a huge mess of unread books. Also, many people inherit books from across generations. Those books and the new ones they purchase get stacked up.
4. Reading Preferences
Our reading choices change over time. The novels we started with when we first started reading have no relevance now. As our preferences shift, the old books will sit around, unread for longer periods.
Pros of Tsundoku:
1. Aesthetics: Having bookshelves that are well arranged can boost the home’s aesthetic appeal overall.
2. Personal Collection/Library: Books are one of the most popular collectibles. Also, having books at our reach means we can read them whenever we want. There are no time restrictions when we own multiple books, and we can read them at our own pace.
Cons of Tsundoku:
1. Financial Implications: Money spent on unread books might have a financial impact on the budget.
2. Space Problems: If unorganized, stacks of unopened books can take up more room, creating a huge mess. You can also check out how to store your books properly here.
3. Deterioration: Books that are left untouched for longer days can gather dust. Paper or bookworms that consume paper may lodge between the pages, causing more harm.
4. Waste of Resources: Knowledge, without a proper direction, will go nowhere. Similarly, books are also repositories of knowledge. Keeping them as such implies that resources are being wasted.
The Dilemma – Navigating the Pros and Cons of Tsundoku!
The pros and cons of Tsundoku are usually subjective to personal choices. Some prioritize having a visually compelling and easily accessible book collection at home. While other people are bothered by the dust and clutter, it creates all over. In the end, it’s all about finding a balance so that the books don’t just serve as a collection but also enrich life.
Mindful Reading and Avoiding Tsundoku!
However, some people need help to strike a balance and seek ways to avoid Tsundoku. We list a few ways to enjoy Tsundoku and manage reading habits effectively.
1. Digital Reading: Exploring online libraries can be a cost-effective option to avoid Tsundoku. Also, reading platforms like Kindle can help manage Tsundoku as we can easily track past purchases.
2. Book Swaps/Gifting: Having knowledge is good, but sharing it is even better. The joy of reading can be better realized by sharing books. Also, we can implement the “One in, one out” policy, where we should mandate that one old book must be given out when we buy a new book.
3. Reading Budget: Strictly fixing a reading schedule and setting a proper book budget can limit our buying impulse. Also, we should be mindful of participating in online reading challenges and getting influenced by unnecessary book trends.
These are all the pros, cons, and ways of managing Tsundoku. How do you manage your book-hoarding habit? Do let us know!
I am a freelance content writer and book reviewer who loves unleashing creativity, one pen stroke at a time. I like reading and writing about what I read. In an attempt to explore and introduce Tamil and Indian literature. Welcome to my world!