Getting rid of old books is one of the easiest ways to declutter, but for some of us, being surrounded by them is not only an aesthetic choice but strangely comforting.
Apparently Japanese culture knows some people feel that way too, which is why they have a word for people who buy and hold onto more books than one human can physically read in their lifetime. The official definition of tsundoku is the stockpiling of books that will never be consumed.
The word is a combination of several Japanese words, including tsunde, which means "to stack things"; oku, which means "to leave for a while"; and doku, which means "to read." Sadly, there's no direct synonym in English.
According to a subreddit dedicated to the word, there is a scale in which one would fall when it comes to tsundoku: having just one unread book to being a serious hoarder. 'Everyone is most likely to be "tsundokursed" one way or the other,' it says.
Which is kinda cool.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.