Tsundoku

Drabble 12 – Tsundoku

Tsudoku

Charlotte “Chuck” Charles from Pushing Daisies, my fictional character soulmate.

As far as vices go, mine are pretty harmless. I have a small candy addiction. I watch the same movies and TV shows over and over again when I’m stressed. I sometimes get the urge to bake pies.

Also, I buy books. There’s something incredibly cathartic about wandering into a new bookstore, thumbing through the shelves, and asking the owner for recommendations. I’ve found some of my favorite books thanks to bookstore owners and fellow shoppers–a bookstore owner recommended A Fine and Private Place by Peter Beagle to me because she said I was a kindred spirit, and a woman browsing the young adult section with my pointed out that I should try The Chronicles of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones. Another woman told me to absolutely without a doubt stay away from So You Want to Be a Wizard… by Diane Duane–I ignored her, bought the book, and fell in love with the series.

What this means is that I have quite a collection. That collection takes up a lot of space. When I was in school, I didn’t have time to read many of the books I continued to accumulate on bad days, such as the book of English ghost stories picked up one rainy day, the adult fairy tales collection with the pretty cover, or a book of poetry I bought to pay for parking.

Now that I’m graduated, I’m working my way through that pile, but I remember the feeling described in this drabble all too well.

TSUNDOKU

(Noun: from the Japanese tsunde-oku for “to pile things up for later and leave” and dokusho, for “reading books” )

A pile of unread books in an owner’s room.

“Don’t you think you should read some of them?”

Anna thinks about it, running a finger over the spine of a particularly beautiful leather-bound book she picked up as a second-hand shop for ten dollars. She doesn’t even know what it is; she just likes the etchings on the cover, the yellowing of the pages, the faint musty vanilla smell that breathes out from the pages when she opens it and breathes in.

She shakes her head, no. Closed and unread, each one is a promise that can’t be broken, a treasure chest of potential waiting patiently to be unlocked.

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