Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wednesdays with Words: Tsundoku

Remember what I said last week about all those books I'd bought and never read?  The Japanese, Lord bless them, have a word for that.

Leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piled up together with other unread books

How cool is that?

There's more lovely words where that one came from at Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Catalog of Beautiful Untranslatable Words from Around the World .  Many thanks to Magistratium for linking it on Facebook today.

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I don't actually have any tsundoku to show you because I recently bought a new bookcase and some baskets to put into a corner where I was sure a bookcase wouldn't fit, then filled it with the board and picture books we keep on hand for young visitors, which freed up a lot of room on the shelves.

Elaienar says there's always room for more books.
And bookcases.

How the corner normally* looks.
Except for the candles. I lit the candles for the picture

And that bookcase was made to fit after I'd already put a set in the hall because there simply wasn't room for any more bookcases anywhere else in the house.

In the crooked hall of our crooked house --
mostly children's lit plus odds and ends I don't know what else to do with.

* Well, I said "How the corner normally looks," but what I meant by "normally" is "now that we've rearranged the room to fit the Tree in."  That bookcase is crammed into a different corner when there's no tree dominating the room.

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C.S. Lewis's father had a lot of books piled up, but they weren't necessarily tsundoku.

My father bought all the books he read and never got rid of any of them. There were books in the study, books in the drawing room, books in the cloakroom, books (two deep) in the great bookcase on the landing, books in a bedroom, books piled as high as my shoulder in the cistern attic, books of all kinds reflecting every transient stage of my parents' interest, books readable and unreadable, books suitable for a child and books most emphatically not.

~Surprised by Joy

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  1. I have a serious case of tsundoku. (And I love that there's a word for it!)

  2. Jason wants to get rid of some books. I am loathe to do so and certainly have a tsundoku.


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