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Tsundoku: Buying Books and Never Reading Them

Do you have a habit of picking up books that you never quite get around to reading? If this sounds like you, you might be unwittingly engaging in tsundoku - a Japanese term used to describe a person who owns a lot of unread literature.

Proffesor Andrew Gerstle of the University of London explains the term might be older than you think. It can be found in print as early as 1879. The word "doku" is a verb meaning "reading" and "tsun" means "to pile up.” So, when put together, "tsundoku" has the meaning of buying reading material and piling it up.

Does it only work for books? You might not be surprised to know some people have applied the term to other aspects of their lives. In a popular post on Reddit people discussed how this term could explain their relationship with films, television shows, and even clothing. One of the most popular interpretations concerned video games, with various people referencing their "vast, untouched software libraries" on game distribution platforms like Steam.

Possible Preaching Angle:

How many of us find ourselves with the tsundoku habit of buying Christian books or new versions of the Bibles but never reading them? Or going to Christian seminars, taking copious notes, but never referring to them again? Let’s be “doers of the Word and not hearers only!” (Jam. 1:22).

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