Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new nominee for entry into the English language.
Tsundoki is a Japanese word and many folks, from
Open Culture magazine to the British Broadcasting Corporation ( BBC) think it’s high time we adopted it and started to use it.
The word dates back to the very beginning of modern Japan, the Meiji era (1868-1912) and has its origins in a pun.
Tsundoku, which literally means reading pile, is written in Japanese as 積ん読. Tsunde oku means to let something pile up and is written 積んでおく. Some wag around the turn of the century swapped out that oku (おく) in tsunde oku for doku (読) – meaning to read. Then since tsunde doku is hard to say, the word got mushed together to form tsundoku. Open Culture Why Should We Start To Use Tsundoku?
Well, it’s a word which describes a problem that many of us have and don’t have a word to describe.
The Japanese use it to mean the act of collecting books and then not reading them.
It’s all too easy to buy a book and then just let it sit on a shelf, at least for some of us (we’re a little bit guilty of this ourselves).
Now, we can describe exactly what that is in a single word.
If you’re looking for books to read rather than to hoard, may we recommend
How Wild Things Are, Attainable Sustainable, and The Contrary Farmer?
We promise, if you start them, you won’t want to put them down.
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