Over a month ago, I learned the Japanese term “tsundoku“, an informal word meaning buying books and not reading them, letting them pile up unread on shelves, floors, or nightstands.  Well, I’ve been ‘tsundoku-ing’ so bad this year, which isn’t really new, if not for my pledge in January that I will only buy 12 books this year.  Who actually believed I could live up to it?  I think no one did.

I was doing well until one sunny Sunday in February when I bought three books from Booksale.  I termed my slow spiraling out of control as “It went downhill from BROOKLYN” as one of the books I bought that day was Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn.  It was the 7th book I bought but I surrendered the pledge that day.  Four months after, here I am, with a total of 38 books to add to my skyhigh book dump.  It didn’t help that my mother regained her contemporary romance reading bug, and indulged me each time I wanted to go to a bookstore.  She also went back to treating me to a book or two whenever I was recovering from being ill (let’s say I’m manipulating this practice to my bookish advantage).

Book Dump Jan-AprIt’s not that I threw money away because most of my purchases are from Booksale (the Robinsons Ermita branch may consider giving me an award, really) — and well, money spent on books and food will never count as wasted EVER in my book.  Of this year’s buys, I consider the books I bought in Hongkong as my most expensive splurges.  But hey, no regrets.

On the left is a gratuitous shot of my pile from January to April, pre-pox.  When I recovered, that’s when I “rewarded” myself with regular trips to bookshops again.  I am proud to say I bought plenty of Philippine-published works this year, in preparation for my Filipino reading month in August. I still bought books by authors whose standalone books I read before (or haven’t read, I just tsundoku’d, so ugh completist tendency) — for example: Marilynne Robinson, Tom Wolfe, Dean Koontz.  For the second time since I started buying books on my own, I bought a duplicate copy of a book.  It’s fine, for they are not identical.  I may even start collecting different covers of books I love, although as of now, only one book comes to mind: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.  So if you are thinking what to give me, there’s a giveaway hint right there. HAH. 🙂

I know I will not stop amassing books this year because the regular discount season of local bookstores (August to October), the Manila International Book Fair in September, and the 3rd Filipino Reader Conference in November are looming ahead.  Anyway, as my constant desire since I had this crazy beautiful affliction, I hope to read more books than usual, even though it will never balance out the books I rake in.  I know I have written practically this same post many times in previous years, but I don’t know, I just cannot get over how amazing this experience is.

Categories: Bookworm Judie

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5 replies

  1. girl, I read this from paulo coelho’s blog – The 50 most influential books in human history 🙂

    1. The Republic by Plato.
    2. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
    3. The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine.
    4. Common Sense by Thomas Paine.
    5. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville.
    6. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.
    7. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriett Beecher Stowe.
    8. On Liberty by John Stewart Mill.
    9. Das Kapital by Karl Marx.
    10. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith.
    11. Guerilla Warfare by Che Guevara.
    12. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.
    13. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence.
    14. Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.
    15. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.
    16. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.
    17. Moby Dick by Herman Melville.
    18. 1984 by George Orwell.
    19. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
    20. Iliad and Odyssey by Homer.
    21. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.
    22. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
    23. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.
    24. The Arabian Nights Entertainment by Andrew Lang.
    25. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.
    26. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupry.
    27. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
    28. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
    29. Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi.
    30. The Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft.
    31. The Second xxx by Simone de Beauvoir.
    32. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf.
    33. Walden by Henry David Thoreau.
    34. A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson.
    35. Philosophae Naturalis Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton.
    36. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud.
    37. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.
    38. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.
    39. Geographia by Ptolemy.
    40. The Meaning of Relativity by Albert Einstein.
    41. The Bible.
    42. The Qur’an.
    43. The Torah.
    44. The Tibetan Book of the Dead.
    45. The Analects of Confucius.
    46. The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas.
    47. The Bhagavad Gita.
    48. I Ching.
    49. Tao Te Ching.
    50. Bartleby by Hermann Melville.

  2. Girl, you might want to check The Mango Bride by Marivi Soliven for your Filipino read in August. Parang nakakaengganyo un title. I saw it in NBS.

    • Yeah, will check that one out, too. Nakita ko din kanina sa NBS. Great to see Filipino lit gaining more popularity lately. Dapat lang, it’s about time. 🙂


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