Tsundoku

(Japanese): Leaving a book unread after buying it.


I have quite a few books, majority of which I borrowed from my father when I moved out. Most of them are still in the bag I carried them in. I have read less than ten of them to completion and yet I cannot resist rifling through second-hand books sellers’ wares whenever I come across them. It is an inexplicable compulsion, wanting more books when I have more than enough. Some guys have body counts, I guess, but that is not quite the explanation, although large part of my identity is tied to the fact that I read, although not as much as I should, methinks. A sense of scarcity perhaps, that good books will run out? No. Wanting to have “it” all? Probably. That is the closest I can get. We all have that niggling sensation at the not-so-back of our minds that our time to do all that we have dreamed and thought of doing is running out. And even when I collect books I intend to read, there is always a small whisper reminding me that I may never get through them all. New books with more interesting or more hip ideas will come up, new experiences will occur to distract us and make us pull our noses out of the pages they may be currently stuck in. For now, I am keeping myself in check by not buying any more books until I have gone through what I already have. This is a promise I feel I have already broken.


 

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