Yesterday I linked to an article on untranslatable words which had a lovely example that clanged a loud bell of recognition.
There were some fantastic words that would arguably make welcome additions to English: who among us hasn’t experienced tsundoku, for example, the Japanese word for “the act of leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piling it up together with other such unread books”.
Today I was in Waterstones, just looking round, picking up books, thinking ‘Umm that looks interesting’, when I suddenly clicked my mind into focus. ‘Tsunduko‘ I said to myself. ‘you have several piles of books at home awaiting attention. Any more and you will crowd out your mental space and not pay full attention to what you do read because of the pressure of the unread’.
So I walked away – it was a small moment of positive control.
P.S. The picture is of the books on my desk. It is actually unfair to say they are completely unread. There are books of essays and a book of poems, which have been dipped into , but all of them need further reading.