What to do with your Tsundoku (積ん読)

How many books are sitting unread on your shelf?

I hope there are many.

Tsundoku, or ‘reading-pile’ in Japanese, is the word to describe a collection of purchased but unread books or reading materials.

Tsundoku harbours negative connotations associated with hoarding, but it shouldn’t. A pile of unread books of which you’re at least partially interested is a beautiful thing.

Tsundoko is a pile of opportunity.

Seize it.

Angel investor and philosopher Naval Ravikant reads 10-20 books at once.

How does he sustain this madness?

He gives himself permission to quit.

Naval doesn’t read books with the intention of finishing them. He reads a book for as long as it captivates him. If he tires of a book, he sets it aside.

If the first half of a book doesn’t want to make you read the second half, what’s to say it’ll be worth the same amount of time as the first?

But if he only reads what is most interesting to him, how does he ever finish anything?

He always picks another book up. He never stops reading.

He has built a habit around reading constantly. Books he puts down, he will often pick back up when he’s ready to return to it. Books he’s finished 15 times over, he’ll pick back up if it’s what he’s in the mood for.

Naval claims that the value of reading doesn’t lie in the books you read, but in the act of reading itself.

How do you build the same habit? He has a simple answer;

Read what you love until you love to read.

Naval Ravikant

Naval treats reading like I aim to treat ruckusmaking.

He gives himself the permission to ‘fail’, and continues to try until he gets what he wants.

He suggests you do the same.

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