The Japanese language has always had beautiful, unique words that describe very specific things. One such word we love is Tsundoku. It is a commonly used term amongst book lovers. Some people are even proud that they tsundoku. “Tsun” is short for pile up and “doku” stands for “read.” Translated into English, it means buying and stocking absurd amounts of books and never reading them.
Humans have been known to collect and hoard random things. Like every other type of hoarding, tsundoku is a spectrum. However, there are a few signs you can watch out for and realize that you tsundoku.
1. Vomiting bookshelves
How many bookshelves do you have in your house? Doesn’t matter. Just browse through them and count the number of books you own and the number of books you’ve read. This will definitely tell you if you have a tsundoku problem.
2. Count the mula
Get a bank statement of all your expenses from the last few months. Now, mark all the times you’ve spent of books and from this list, count the number of books you’ve actually read. Then calculate how much you’ve spent on these books. Does it tell you that books are the reason behind all those instant noodles dinners?
Do you find yourself running out of space all the time because of the books you own? Do you not have space for new pieces of furniture, a bed or a table you can eat on? Have you almost used your books as furniture? Again, have you read all these books that have clearly taken over your home? Take a minute and look around your house.
4. Just listen to your mom
Do your friends and family have conversations or pass comments about your books? When you’ve stopped functioning and hoarding the books you never read get in the way of your life, you can count on your friends and family to notice this. And the best part is, they’ll tell you! LISTEN TO THEM. Also, it’s probably time to get a new pet.
If you find yourself guilty of any or all of these signs, roll up your sleeves. Unless you still think you don’t have a problem. If you have realized that you do have a problem then read on. We have some tips that may help you.
1. Detox your home
Possibly the most difficult way to stop doing this. But also, the most effective way to do it. Hit one rack of books at a time. Have a pushy mom or friend? Get them in on this. The best part is, you can donate all your books to a local library or a charity of your choice. And the next time you want to buy a book, just take a pause and think it over. Are you really going to read it? Call your trusty friend or family member and talk to them about it. Even if you do end up buying the book, gift it right away.
2. Go the “e” way
This is like wearing a nicotine patch or smoking a e-cigarette. It will still mean spending money. But all your books will occupy little space in a kindle or some virtual cloud. Baby steps, right?
3. Go gaga on Goodreads
You already choose the books you buy and you know what you like and dislike. Sniff those books out on Goodreads and start shelving books in your virtual library. And the best part is, you don’t have to own any of those books! You just have to log in, find books you like and shelve them. 🙂
Now, there’s a secret benefit. You can become a trusted librarian on Goodreads. But you have to qualify to become a librarian. You may ask, why should I become one? It’s a very satisfying feeling to get appreciation for finding good books and helping readers across the world find books they like. You can work towards becoming a librarian, get a big following and become a Goodreads celebrity. To know more about becoming a librarian on Goodreads, just click on this link: https://www.goodreads.com/help/show/15-how-do-i-become-a-librarian
The world needs more book buyers, but it needs readers more. Find ways to use your book buying habit to help encourage reading. You can sign in or put a stamp on every book you buy. This way you may bump into the books you’re putting out there and keep track of the joy you’re spreading.
If you tsundoku or if you have any more tips to get over it, just leave your suggestions in the comments section. For more discussions on the world of books and publishing, visit this blog again. Until then, sayonara!