‘A nice book’ is my answer to requests for a present on the traditional Dutch Sinterklaas feast, Christmas and birthdays.  The good thing is that all three events take place within two months.  So the number of books on our shelves usually rise between December and January, and should be rather stationary throughout the rest of the year.  In other words, the growth of books ought to be rather limited.

Rather limited.  Hm… I’m just not sure yet in what universe that would apply to me.  Not this one, that’s certain!

Besides the festivities in December and my birthday in January, there are the monthly visits to the bookshop (I do try to keep myself in check) and the book fairs that take place far more often and closer to home than is good for me.  Oh did I mention the couple of weeks before we go on holiday as well?  That’s the official period when my husband and I can go all out on buying books.  After all, one has got to read something during the holidays.

So the number of books increases.

And I like it.

A lot.

“My new books that still have to be read but are piling up faster than I can read” book shelf.

But how do I refer to all those new books that haven’t been read yet?  Dutch doesn’t have a specific word for them, neither does English.  Japanese does.  New books that pile up unread on shelves, floors or nightstands are called tsundoko.  (For the historical origins please check the website of Open Culture.)

I’d like to believe that my unread books are under control, and have not left my bookcase to appear on the floor or on my nightstand.  I even prepared a tsundoko shelf in my bookcase.  I just wonder how long it will be before I will have to give up another shelf.


6 thoughts on “Tsundoko

  1. Graag gedaan -you’re welcome – I don’t know how to use this in a conversation either. Once you have found the solution I’d love to hear it too 🙂

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