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Book Lovers: Are You Guilty of ‘Tsundoku’? (We Can Explain)

You can’t be left unsupervised in a bookstore, tear up at the thought of moving to a smaller home and wouldn’t let Marie Kondo anywhere near your shelves. Don’t worry: You’re not alone. There’s actually a word for all that enthusiasm (and no, it doesn’t rhyme with “schmorder”).

Introducing tsundoku—the Japanese word for buying lots of books and letting them pile up without reading them. Pronounced tsoon-doh-koo, the term is a portmanteau of tsunde (to stack things) and dokusho (to read). Which, let’s be honest, sounds a whole lot nicer than plain old “messy” or “lazy.”

Look, we get it. With so many amazing books out there, who has the time to read them all? And unless you’re one stack of books away from an episode of Hoarders, then a little reading clutter is nothing to be ashamed of.

Of course, if you did want to tackle your tsundoku problem, you could try curbing your shopping habit with a library card. You’ll still have plenty of literature at your disposal, just without the threat of those sky-high piles toppling over and crushing your cat.

Or why not donate books to a local charity shop or give them away as presents? Tell friends you’re bestowing the gift of tsundoku—they’ll have no idea what you’re talking about, but it sure sounds fancy. Alternatively, you could embrace modern technology and spring for a shiny new tablet. It may not be as romantic as holding an actual book in your hands, but a cluttered Amazon cart is a whole lot easier to deal with than a messy apartment.

But if you truly can’t bear to part with your collection, at least put it in the spotlight by staging some epic Instagram shelfies.

RELATED: The Smartest Way to Organize Your Bookshelf

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