The Pulitzer Prize is an idea; it’s a vote of confidence. Like literature, it exists purely in the mind.

-Jeffrey Eugenides

Pulitzerprize

The Pulitzer Prize 2015 list is out. No question about what to read next, after I divide my TBR into smaller piles, that is. Oh, those To-Be-Read books, you have some, don’t you?

You know, the stack(s) of books we all have? The books we definitely want to read, piles of them spreading like kudzu when we’re not looking.

o-stack-of-books-facebook
There isn’t an absolutely clever English word for that pile. But there is a beastly fine one in Japanese.

Tsundoku  積ん読

The word tsundoku dates back to the beginning of modern Japan and literally means reading pile. 積ん読.

Tsunde oku means to let something pile up.  積んでおく

Around the turn of the century, someone switched the oku (おく) in tsunde oku to doku (読) – meaning to read. Tsunde doku was hard to say, so the two words became one.

Tsundoku means leaving a book unread after buying it, piled up together with other unread books. Sound familiar?

fb17c95e6d7bdcdec50c95a2e304c339

But we all know the TBR pile is more than just a stack of books. It’s a continental-shelf-sized heap of goals uncompleted, plans derailed, best intentions gone awry.

I want to read more books than is possible in a lifetime. That TBR pile is such a tease. As I age, it mocks me.

Cynthia Crossen, in the Wall Street Journal, says she’s sometimes thwarted by excuses.

As I scanned my shelves, I found I had convincing arguments why I shouldn’t read each one of the orphans – or convincing to me anyway. I rejected a book called English, August, by Upamanyu Chatterjee because it is, after all, November. No to The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell because the book jacket says it’s about ‘the desperate lives of working people.’ No to The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro because I heard it wasn’t nearly as good as Remains of the Day or Never Let Me Go.

 

I know just what she means.

These pitch-perfect books just clinched the coveted Pulitzer Prize. Go ahead, add them to your tsundoku.

Fiction

9781476746586

All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

 

Nonfiction

9781250062185

The Sixth Extinction
by Elizabeth Kolbert

History

9780374535117

Encounters at the Heart of the World
by Elizabeth A. Fenn

Biography

9780812983678

The Pope and Mussolini
by David I. Kertzer

 

 Poetry

9781935536505

Digest
by Gregory Pardlo

 

Drama

6a00d8341c8a8c53ef01a3fd36384a970b-800wiBetween Riverside and Crazy

by Stephen Adley Guirgis

f4cab80793e2acdd822cf0f02cb87174

Do you have a TBR pile?

Or do you keep a TBR list?

don’t spend too long reading this because that stack of books on your shelf isn’t going to read itself.

Toni 4/21/15

10 thoughts on “DO YOU ALWAYS BUY ANOTHER BOOK WHEN YOU STILL HAVE TEN TO READ? GOTTA LOVE THAT TBR PILE ♥

  1. I’m a book lover too. Read all kinds. And yes, must have a stack of books because you never know what you might be in the mood for. Having been trying to declutter my books lately. Go to the library often and try to avoid the used book sale part. And just bring my books that I’m not keeping to them. My favourite hobby is reading. It is equal to breathing for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I try to declutter too, but end up just moving them around. When I travel, I bring a few from the bottom of the TBR pile, read them, and leave them for others. Some go to the library book sale, others pass on to friends. I can’t imagine life without a library.

      Like

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