I sometimes come across word that is so perfect and brilliant, but has no direct synonym in English.
Today’s word is such a word.
tsundoku (n.) – a Japanese word that means “the act of leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piling up together with other such unread books.”
The word dates back to the Meiji era (1868-1912). From this Open Culture article:
Tsundoku, which literally means reading pile, is written in Japanese as 積ん読. Tsunde oku means to let something pile up and is written 積んでおく. Some wag around the turn of the century swapped out that oku (おく) in tsunde oku for doku (読) – meaning to read. Then since tsunde doku is hard to say, the word got mushed together to form tsundoku
Tsundoku is a great book nerd word, and may describe my activities yesterday. . .
Because I had a $5 BN gift card, I of course had to use it. My goal was to find something for the person who I drew in my Litsy Fun In the Sun summer book exchange. I spent a good two hours browsing, looking for my exchange, perusing my fave authors, and checking out all the new releases and making notes on all the ones I’d like to get (Year One by Nora Roberts, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi).
And then I went to the sale shelves, where I found several must-reads: The Queen of Katwe by Tim Crothers, When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon, The Raven & Other Tales graphic novel (because who doesn’t love Poe in graphic novel form?), Bassoon King by Rainn Wilson (with forward by Dwight Schrute), and Let Me Tell You by Shirley Jackson. I mean, who doesn’t love a good book on sale!?! Crazy people, that’s who.
Then, of course, I went to my local used book store, Book Bank, because that’s what one does when one is on a book kick. And there I found two more books that I absolutely needed to have: The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi and Agents of Light and Darkness by Simon R. Green.
And when I got home, I gleefully organized my pile of to-be-read (TBR) books.
So tsundoku applies to me. At least for now. I do get through my TBR pile. It’s just that no matter how many books I read, the pile never seems to shrink. Weird how that happens, right?!
Share your favorite word that has no direct synonym in English in the comments below!