Tsundoku – What is it and Are You Guilty of it?

There are a lot of books and we as readers buy a lot and create a big to-read pile. But how many of these books do we actually end up reading? Not a lot to be honest. If you feel like this applies to you, then you are not alone.


The Japanese word Tsundoku defines this very situation; books you buy but never read. The intention was to read it when you bought it but other books and life came in the way. These things happen because time is frivolous and we spend it like a limitless credit card.

This is a trend that has gained popularity on social media recently and I can think of two groups of people that do this. The first group is the obvious book collectors. They are more interested in collecting books instead of reading them. Their loss. The second group is the one that planned to read it but never got around to it and at this rate probably won’t.

brass colored chandelier
Photo by Emre Can Acer on Pexels.com

I have done this and one of those situations was being gifted a book. That book seems interesting but not interesting enough for me to read it now. But the more common situation is when I see a book I like or if its on sale and I will save it for a day when I have no reading material. Some books have sat there for a couple of years before I finally decided to read them.

Please Read Your Books

There is another group that I forgot to mention or to be honest, blocked them from my existence and that is the people that use books solely as decorations. Sure the books look great but the pages inside of them offer so much more.

If it isn’t intentional, then I don’t mind it but if some one buys a book and knows that they will not read it, then I mind. Books are meant to be read and while not every book is going to be our favorite, at least giving it a read to see if you like it or not should be the plan.

Are you guilty of tsundoku? How do you feel about this topic? Let us know in the comments below!

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook

6 thoughts on “Tsundoku – What is it and Are You Guilty of it?

  1. wordsandcoffee1 says:

    I think I am slightly guilty of tsundoku, but usually in the same case as you– if I find a book on sale and I already have a long reading list at the time, I’ll place it to the side of the shelf for later. In college, I was worse– they used to keep a pile of free books in the English department, and I would always grab one or two. We’ve been utilizing our local library a lot more lately, which I think helps to keep me on track. 🙂

  2. Ann says:

    Yes I’m guilty of this. Back in 2020 I started to write the date inside of books when I brought them. That way I can tell how long I had a book on my bookshelf.

  3. Peachy says:

    definitely guilty of it! Both as a collector who buys multiple copies of the same book and as a mood reader I buy books whenever either they’re on sale or they’re mentioned in a book I’m reading or something I’m watching or I got a personal recommendation, and then take a long time to get to them 😅

  4. Danny Watts says:

    Guilty, guilty, guilty. I was in a new bookstore this past weekend and bought 3. Two were on my BTR list and one just caught my attention – it had a cool cover and the topic seemed worth while….


Leave a Reply