Tsundoku

I just love, love, love BOOKS! Frankly, ashamedly, not the classics so much – wish I understood why – but mostly newly published stuff. I buy them from Amazon (for lack of a local bookstore) – hard copies, so I can smell the paper and hear that soft card-shuffling rhythm as I thumb through the pages and feel that subtle arching sound a brand new hardback spine makes when I open it the first time. No Kindle or Audiobooks for me. But here’s the thing, the zinger, the stinger: I don’t read books anymore! Why? Because the internet kidnapped my reading eye! SO much to read daily – news, blogs, tweets, social media rants. I stay informed, alert, in the now. (Well, unless it’s something Kardashian or whatever.)

Many of you read me here because of Remi/Judy/LifeLessons blog. She’s been without internet most of the last two days, and she related tonight to me by telephone (how quaint!) how much she’s accomplished these last two days while free of the internet tether. I mentioned to her that I should just get myself arrested, convicted, and sentenced to prison (solitary confinement, thank you) so that I can spend a year or two reading my purchased but unread pile of books. That’s what triggered this blog post. Well, that and an essay I read in the New York Times.

I read this wonderful essay, “How Bibliophiles Flirt” awhile back, and it fits me SO well. (And I bet it fits several of you as well.) Some of you may not know that the “okc” in “okcforgottenman” does not indicate I’m in/from Oklahoma City. It means I started this blog as an extension of my profile on OkCupid. (That’s a dating site, if you’re not aware. I’m known as forgottenman there, but thank your lucky stars that you can’t see my bloviated profile there unless you’re already a member.) Oh, if you haven’t read that essay yet, it’s about an OkCupid relationship. That’s why I mention my interest.

So, have you paused reading here to read about how bibliophiles flirt? If so, you have found my new third-favorite word: tsundoku. (My second-favorite word is “penultimate”.) I have brashly (drunkenly?) decided to share my tsundoku list with y’all, by photograph herein. I’m fascinated that I can’t figure out whether I should be ashamed of not having read these acquisitions, or honored/proud to have them on my shelf. I love such quandaries!

You can click on the photos below to get a larger view. But why?

For what it’s worth, here’s a short shelf of some of my favorite reads from the last several years:

Anyone else out there want to share the shame/honor of your tsundoku list?

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11 thoughts on “Tsundoku

  1. I adore books too, but I don’t read them much. I LISTEN a lot, however. My eyes don’t like print these days and reading online is especially hard. About 1000 words is my online limit, even when I’m really interested in the material. But I love real books, so periodically, I buy them anyway just so I can sniff the ink and the paper and hear that lovely crack of the binding when the book is first opened. I have a PILE of books I need to read, many of them on my Kindle AND on paper too.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Most of my unread books are on Kindle — the rest are in my bookcase. Many of them are signed first editions that I take out of the bookcase, stroke them gently, and put them back. Then I listen to them on Audible. Recently though, I’m on new medication and I fall asleep so quickly at night, I barely get through a chapter before I’m out cold. As a result, I’m rereading old favorites because I can’t stay awake long enough to read something brand new.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this! When my mother left her home of 60+ years, my sister called the Planned Parenthood Book Sale (an annual used book sale that is held in a building of the local show grounds) and told them she had 25 YARDS of books for them — they actually took about 24 yards of books to sell that year! My mother had read most of the books at least once, and many of them twice. As I was preparing for a possible move last year, I also gave many to PP, though it was more like 10 yards worth, many of which had not been read! It’s good to know there’s a word for those!

    Liked by 1 person

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