Shedding My Tsundoku Tendency: I’ve Actually Read the Books I Bought (*Shocked Face Here*)

And yes, I’m at the stacking stage with my books because I’m out of bookshelf space … again.

In December 2021, I wrote a post agonizing, and then coming to embrace, my tsundoku status. That is the Japanese word for buying books (or any reading material) and watching as they pile up wherever one keeps their books unread.

That was me! For the longest time! Not always, obviously, but the ratio between buying new books versus reading those new books was lopsided in favor of the former. Not because I didn’t want to read those new books — I did purchase them for a reason, after all! — but because I’d get distracted by some other book that struck my mood at the time, or I simply hit an unfortunate patch where I wasn’t reading any books.

Well, I’m proud to say, as we head into the second month of 2022, I reached unicorn status among readers who share my tsundoku status.

Not long after my post embracing such status, Barnes & Noble enticed me with a heck of a sale, offering 50 percent off on all hardcover books. Whoa. Say no more, I’m there like me in a candy store (no, not a kid, me).

Mirroring my interest in both fiction and nonfiction, at the time, I bought:

  • Lori Gottlieb’s, Maybe You Should Talk To Someone.
  • Andy Weir’s, Project Hail Mary.
  • Volker Ulrich’s, Eight Days In May.
  • Jeffery Deaver’s, The Midnight Lock.
  • Christie Tate’s, Group.
  • Neal Stephenson’s, Termination Shock.

And while not a hardcover book, but I couldn’t resist nabbing it as well, given how highly my sister-in-law recommended it, Amber Garza’s, Where I Left Her.

I’m happy to report back that since buying those books in mid-December of 2021, I’ve finished six of the seven and am currently approaching the half-way point of the seventh book (Stephenson’s, which is the longest of the bunch).

I also sidetracked from that pile, as I do, and read two other books, Alison Stine’s, Trashlands and Chris Panatier’s, The Phlebotomist.

It both feels really good to tackle a pile of books I recently bought and not let it collect tsundoku dust, and I’m proud of myself for stretching my brain by toggling between fiction and nonfiction. On the fiction front, I seem to be embracing apocalyptic or near-apocalyptic and speculative fiction territory lately, and on the nonfiction front, two of the three have concerned themselves with therapy. I definitely would like to read more therapy books in their ilk.

If you missed my reviews for any of them, they’re all on my blog. Just scroll back or search in the archives!

I think I plan to continue going backward through my tsundoku pile: There are two other nonfiction books I recently acquired prior to this pile I’d like to get to, but we’ll see! I can’t help where my mood strikes.

What are you reading lately? And are you like that as well? Your interest in a book dictated by whims and the mood you’re in at any given time, like when you walk into the room where your books are held, as I do?

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