To all the books we bought before, we’re sorry.
Somewhere in your home lies the literary graveyard. Be it the unventured corner behind the sofa, a shelf you've not so much as looked at since moving in, or stacked beneath the TV, RIP to the books we bought in earnest and still have not read.
There is a word for this collection of neglected books. Allow us to introduce you to tsundoku, the Japanese definition for that precise pile of books you brought home but haven't actually bothered to read yet.
Don't worry, you're not alone in your hoarding. The team here at Refinery29 know the art of unintentional book collection (and abandonment) all too well. We know the well-intentioned purchase – each and every time you hand over cash in exchange for another slice of literary history, you feel certain that this, this, is a book that'll be read. You mentally allocate time on your commute, your holiday, your quiet weekend to revel in that new book smell. You anticipate the intelligent discussion you'll have with friends who share your exceptional taste in literature. Oh, the fun you'll have, losing yourself in a world cleverly crafted by a critically acclaimed author, you think. Cultural brownie points for you, my friend.
But that conviction wavers the moment you get home and pop your latest conquest on top of your existing pile of unread books, your tsundoku. A couple of weeks pass and still, the book has not been read. You don't return the book, that'd be silly. No, you keep it there in the pile under the unconvincing assurance that you'll get to it, eventually. You don't, and to be honest, you probably won't, and that's okay. In the spirit of literary amnesty, we're going to share with you some of the books in our tsundoku. Be comforted, too, by the fact that many of our selections are those famous novels you're just meant to have read (but obviously didn't).