Tag Archives: reading

Tsundoku: The practice of buying more books than you can read

 

Doku: reading

Tsun: to pile up

Tsundoku: the piling up of reading things

I know people who have wardrobes full of beautiful clothes, kitchens stocked with polished cookware, living rooms decked out in elegant, matching furniture and artwork. In their tidy closets they have racks lined with rows of exquisite shoes, just the right ones for every occasion. As much as I might like to have these things, that’s not what’s in my home. Nope. In my home I have bookshelves groaning under stacks of books. More books than I’ll ever get around to reading. Dusty books.  New books. Old books. Children’s books. Novels. Non-fiction. Memoir. Classics. Textbooks.

Many of these books are library books.  They will have to be returned before they’re read even though I renew them as often as I’m allowed. The problem is,  as well as being a master of tsundoku, I’m also a voracious reader of book reviews. I keep a journal of titles that I MUST someday read, so when I see them at  bookstores or at the library I ‘acquire’ them and add them to the stacks.

And I do read – as much as I can. But there is never going to be enough time to read all the books I’ve accumulated.

There are worse things to practice than tsundoku. I could be hoarding  a collection of troll dolls or dead house plants. But I may have found a solution for my unruly collection: the Little Free Library.

Little Free Library.

Slowly I’ve been weeding through the stacks of books that I own and finding ones that I feel I can part with. I keep a bag of them in my car and whenever I pass a Little Free Library I drop a few off. (The hard part is resisting the urge to also bring a few more home.) Maybe someday I’ll  have  tidy, book free coffee and bedside tables  and organized, uncluttered shelves. And nice shoes.

And then again, maybe not.

“Even when reading is impossible, the presence of books acquired produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity.” A. Edward Newton, author, publisher, and collector of 10,000 books.

Image credit :http://mocomi.com/tsundoku/

Reading at WORD VANCOUVER

It may have been a soggy Vancouver afternoon, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of my friends and family who turned out to help me launch Lost Boy.

Thank you to those who could make it and to Word Vancouver for inviting me to speak at this wonderful festival that celebrates reading and writing.

What the??? Is that man with the hat in the front row SLEEPING during my reading?? 🙂

 

 

 

On Reading ~

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Stephen King stack of books

My name is Shelley and I’ve read 50+ books this year. I am a bibliophile.

There, I’ve said it.

Seriously, I did squirm a little when I tallied up the books I’d read in 2014. A little voice in my head asked, “Is that, maybe, just a little excessive?” Am I truly trying to hone my craft (writing) as Stephen King suggests or am I simply using reading as an escape?

We all try to find balance in our lives, making time for work, family, friends, exercise, recreation. When I look at it that way, I realize that reading is my recreation. I don’t follow any TV shows, I don’t play games on the computer, I don’t have many other hobbies. I choose to read quality books, often books selected for one of the 3 book-clubs I belong to. And, as Stephen King argues, a writer has to read. I tell creative writing students that all the time. (Throw out the TV if you want to get published.) I wish there was a measurable correlation between the number and quality of books read with the quality of your own writing. I’ll just have to trust that there is one. As for 2015, I intend to keep on reading, feeding my addiction, escaping, learning and honing my craft.