The Japanese word, “Tsundoku”, which literally means “reading pile”, dates back all the way to the Meiji era (1868-1912). It’s a unique word for which there is no English equivalent. If you’re an avid reader though, you will well understand that feeling…it’s pure happiness, the feeling of knowing that you have many more books ready to read!
The word is a combination of the words tsundeoku 積つんでおく (to pile things up and leave them) and dokusho 読書どくしょ
A great private collection is a material concentrate that continually stimulates, that overexcites. Not only because it can always be added to, but because it is already too much. The collector’s need is precisely for excess, for surfeit, for profusion. It’s too much—and it’s just enough for me. … A collection is always more than is necessary.”
― Susan Sontag, The Volcano Lover: A Romance
A book is a dream that you hold in your hand. – Neil Gaiman
All of those books you own but haven’t read are a sign that you’re not wise enough yet and that life still has so much to teach you. And while it’s difficult to be minimalistic when surrounded by books, there is a cosy pleasure in being surrounded by so many new worlds to explore.
There is another similar feeling to tsudoku I think…the feeling of looking at a stack of books you have already read and returning to those worlds inside of your head, even if only for moments. Do you know this feeling?