January 23, 2023

The Art of Collecting Books: Tsundoku

By 1605 Collective
Books, Inspiration

Tsundoku is a Japanese term that has been used for centuries to describe the habit of buying and accumulating books without reading them. The word is a combination of three Japanese words: "tsunde" (to stack), "oku" (to leave) and "doku" (to read). Together, the word literally means "to stack and leave unread".

The origin of the word is believed to date back to the Edo period in Japan (1603-1868). During this time, the country was under strict isolation policies, which meant that very few foreigners were allowed to enter and books were scarce. As a result, the Japanese people had a great appreciation for books and many would buy them as soon as they became available, even if they didn't have the time to read them.

The term "tsundoku" was initially used to describe the habit of buying and hoarding books, but it has since evolved to include other forms of media such as magazines and newspapers. Today, the term is used to describe anyone who has a habit of buying and accumulating books without reading them, regardless of whether they are Japanese or not.


Tsundoku 1


This practice is often seen as a form of procrastination, as individuals may feel that they will eventually read the books, but never seem to find the time to do so. It is also seen as a sign of love and appreciation for books, as they are often carefully collected and kept in a special place.

Apart from collecting, Tsundoku is also a form of self-care, as collecting books can be a way to escape reality and immerse oneself in different worlds and stories. It can also be a way of gaining knowledge and expanding one's understanding of different subjects and cultures.


Tsundoku 2


Tsundoku 3

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