Tsundoku (積ん読) is the Japanese term for letting books pile up in your home without reading them.

I’m guilty of tsundoku, and have been for some time.

Like all good hoarders, I turn a blind eye. I deny the fact. I gaze lovingly at this pile of colorful, beautifully crafted books. I say to myself, I’ll read you soon.

A reality check came in the form of my old paperwhite kindle, which was also laying about, collecting (less) dusk. I plugged it in, charged it up, cleared out all the old samples and bought a book.

Actually I bought two books. Anna Wiener’s Uncanny Valley, and Antonio Garcia Martinez’s Chaos Monkeys. Instantly, I had access to exactly what I felt like reading. And in this case, I had access to two! things I wanted to read, meaning I could selectively dip into whichever I felt like. I finished both in a few days.

There’s nothing romantic about a kindle. It’s an ugly little device. And bookshelf porn is a real thing. It’s only been a recent thing for the middle class folk to even be able to cultivate anything close to a personal library.

I’m not suggesting either way. My goal is to read every day, and whatever grease I can lay down on those tracks, I’ll do it.

But remember. Are you dusting those books off, heating them up, tripping over them, thinking about them and moving them about in boxes… or are you reading them?

July 12, 2021