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Joy of Tsundoku

May 15, 2023 | Daily Trek

Tsundoku - Radical Trekking - Ayelet Baron

Embracing Tsundoku: The Joy of Unread Books

In Japan, tsundoku means buying books and not reading them. It comes from ‘tsunde,’ which means to stack things, and ‘oku,’ which means to leave for a while.

Some people might judge people for Tsundoku. But it is also an expression of joy; having unread books to explore. Stacks of unread books  make some of us feel guilty. But when there’s nothing to achieve or accomplish, maybe unread books signify hope and potential? Every unread book is like a universe. It’s full of knowledge, feelings, and experiences we haven’t found yet.

These books remind us of all the stories we haven’t read and experienced yet. And what about the ideas we haven’t explored yet? And all the journeys waiting for us in the unknown.

Tsundoku also represents the joy of curiosity. Each book added to the pile signifies a new interest, a new opportunity, or a new author discovered. It allows us to be patient and in flow. It is a reminder that we are here to experience a life where books represent different stages of our lives.

A study found that kids who had 80 to 350 books at home had a passion for reading, math, and using computers. It claims that “a home library can promote reading and math skills more than college alone can.”

Joy of Tsundoku

In a world where being productive is important, reading a book slowly, at our own frequency, can be rebellious. It’s also okay if we don’t finish every book. Tsundoku is about enjoying the process of reading, not just finishing a book.

We are reminded to appreciate potential by letting each unread book be a testament to our curiosity and love for the world of words. After all, the beauty of books lies as much in the reading as in the anticipation of the experience each one holds.

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”―Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

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