a friend told me. His son has been working in Japan for some years and M.... has been to see him twice for extended periods. He has come home with some "polite phrases and interesting words".
One of these is "tsundoku" which is apparently the Japanese word for the habit of buying more books than one can read.
I find it fascinating that there is a word for such a concept. It must be a serious habit in Japanese society.
There are a great many books in this house. They sit double and triple stacked in shelves which take up all the available wall space. We parted with some recently - rather a lot of them - and it is hard to see the difference. Most of them were gardening and woodwork books belonging to the Senior Cat. Some of them were yet more cookbooks belonging to my mother. There were other craft books, such as quilting and macrame books, that I knew would never be used. There was even some fiction that did not rate as "worth keeping".
I did not give away any of my carefully collected samples of children's literature. They form a library the local children can use when they tire of what the local library has to offer. Yes, children's literature is different now. Ms Whirlwind has read almost everything and so have a good many of her friends. The boys around the corner ignored a few of the more "girl" books but they went through the rest.
More than one person has walked in and asked, "Have you really read all these?"
My answer is, "If it belongs to me then I have read all the fiction, I have read some of the non-fiction and I have used the rest as reference material."
Yes, I use the books I buy. I do not suffer from "tsundoku".