Did you know…
…that there’s a Japanese word for people with more books than they can read?
(n.) the act of leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piling it up together with other such unread books.
If you combine that idea with a study from the UK discovered that on average, more than half of the books in a household have not been read, and you end up with a lot of people involved in tsundoku.
Apparently the average household has 138 books and 80 of them are unread. Honestly, I don’t consider 138 books to be very many. But technically, that drops things into the tsundoku range for those people, since they have more books than they can read.
I also know people who own a thousand books and read them. So tsundoku seemes to be less about the number of book owned, and more about whether you’re going to read them all.
We used to qualify as a tsundoku family. Between a church library that was closing and offering shelves of books for free, to a love of book shopping, we used to have a lot of bookshelves filled with books we’d never read. Several moves into smaller houses trimmed up that collection, though. So out of necessity, I’d say we don’t currently suffer from tsundoku.
However, this summer we’re moving, and the house does have more room…I can not rule out the possibility of tsundoku rearing it’s book-loving head again.
Actually, what we really need is a word for people with more ebooks on their Kindle than they will ever read. Because that I have.
How about you? Do you have more books than you can actually read? And for you, how many books is that?