Wednesday, July 13, 2016
I Am Not Guilty Of Tsundoku!
At openculture.com, Jonathan Crow informs us that
The Japanese word tsundoku [...] means buying books and letting them pile up unread. 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.
I repeatedly had to try to convince my mother that I was not guilty of tsundoku: "I've read some of them all the way through, I've read at least a part of all of them, and each and every one of them may prove to be very crucial at any moment for reference! If they weren't I'd get rid of them!"
And it was all true! Ask some of the local used-book dealers if I haven't sold a few books to them!
And because she was a great Mom, she either tried to understand or tried to seem like she didn't think I was full of it on the subject of the books when she was around me, or both. She and I loved each other very much, but we were also very different in many ways. I'm sure she and other non-tsundoku would get together and commiserate about their tsundoku friends and relatives --
-- except that I, as I said, am not tsundoku! Maybe some people somewhere actually are, but not me! I'm making intensive use of all of this stuff! Don't try to change me! Get away from my books! No, I do NOT want a Kindle, thankyouverymuch! I'll gladly take a MacArthur or a Nobel, though!