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Do you read hundreds or thousands of books in a year? Yeah, me neither.

I take that back. I have FOR SURE read hundreds of picture books in a year, some of them dozens and dozens of times over.

Lately, the books keep getting stacked.

My brother has recommended that I remove the "one-click payment" option from my Amazon account.

Despite having some e-books on Kindle/tablet, I prefer physical books. Sometimes you can recall certain information based on which section of the book and which part of the page you remember reading it.

Me and audio books haven't yet made friends. There is somebody in the house who listens to YouTube interviews at 2X (or higher) and it drives me nuts. "Please use your headphones."

The Japanese word/concept tsundoku has been defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as:

"the practice of buying a lot of books and keeping them in a pile because you intend to read them but have not done so yet; also used to refer to the pile itself"

The current popular definition is a bit funny and romanticized. I always understood tsundoku to simply mean "to leave stacked in piles" (and not necessarily books).

Art imitates life:

When I'm sitting at my desk, this pile is next to my head. Hmm... what to draw today?

The top book, How to Have Impossible Conversations, was bought based on my inability to have a conversation with certain family members about the virus without eventually ranting "the world has gone mad" and then being hung up on.

Blockchain Chicken Farm And Other Stories of Tech in China's Countryside was an impulse in-person purchase. There's a new pop-up bookstore in the 'hood. YAY! A couple of chapters in, it's a reasonably entertaining read into a world with which I'm unfamiliar (rural China today).

Japanese Death Poems, bought together with the Blockchain Chicken book, contains poems written by Zen monks and haiku poets on the verge of death, plus commentary. I'd hazard a crazy guess that based on the number of people interested in anti-aging research, some of us are not ready to face the fact that everybody dies and sometimes sooner than you'd like.

Some of the death poems are not nearly as depressing as ...

The Gulag Archipelago. I attempted to read this as a teenager but since there are several volumes, I probably only made it through part of Volume I, of Volumes I-III. This abridged edition offers the ability for the reader to gain most of the benefits of this work (of historical reconstruction?) without losing steam due to inability to access subsequent volumes in a timely fashion.

The remaining books are aspirational purchases which I may never finish reading or implementing:

  1. Atomic Habits
  2. Getting Things Done
  3. Deep Work

Several weeks into the new year, I've discovered that the real secret to getting things done for my practice is to:

  1. Sit at desk
  2. Stay off of Twitter
  3. Get work done

I also have a problem with tsundoku for browser tabs but that's a different story.

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I have not read my copy of Japanese Death poems yet, but I read Essays in Idleness and Hojoki, which also had some similar observations.
I've stopped building book piles, thankfully. I do need to get more done though and Twitter is certainly a part of that for me too.
satoshidoodles replied:
Book piles forever! ;-)
sirquacksalot replied: