Got a bookshelf full of books you haven’t read yet?

Isabel Salvosa
Got a bookshelf full of books you haven’t read yet?
Doing a Marie Kondo on our bookshelves? Perish the thought!

Were you at the Manila International Book Fair last week? There were discounts and rare finds galore. No wonder visitors were hoarding piles, even cartfuls, of books! 

As much as I wanted to add around a dozen books to my own collection, thoughts of an empty wallet and a full bookshelf back home stopped me. I didn’t want to spend cash on more books, only for them to end up gathering dust, long-forgotten and buried under other books. 

Do you also have books whose pages you have yet to crack open? 

The Japanese would call us tsundoku, a term which describes a person who owns a lot of books but doesn’t read them. It’s a portmanteau of the Japanese words tsumu, which means to pile up, and doku, which means to read.

According to Reddit user superdago, your library doesn’t just reflect the person you are through the books you’ve read. It also shows the person you want to be through the books you haven’t read yet.

We might not have read a single page of these books, nor thought of them in a while. Nonetheless, each prized piece is part of a carefully curated collection, designed to show off our tastes. For some, the sight of a well-stocked library is a source of comfort. 

That color-coding? Goals. Check out books to add to your collection here. Or get P100 off your next book purchase here.

Buying books is easy. Actually reading them? Not so easy. Here are some tips for all my fellow tsundoku out there:

  • Don’t save reading for when you’re in the mood, because distractions will surely put you out of it. Your favorite series or drama can wait. Commit to reading even one page a day. 

  • Try e-books. They’re easier to carry around, and you can read conveniently when you’re stuck in transit. Bonus: they won’t add to the clutter. 

  • Sort and organize your collection. I know it’s hard to let them go, but are there some books that you can donate? Books you started reading but ended up not liking? Maybe other people will appreciate the books better. 

  • Buy books you’re excited about. If a Nobel Prize winner doesn’t excite you, you don’t have to buy it. Don’t feel pressured to read particular books. 

Which book do you plan to start with? –