How many of you are big readers? How many of you always carry something to read on you wherever you go? Do you love browsing book stores and libraries for hours? Do you have an active Goodreads account?
I do. And, as you can imagine, I have a book collection that overflows off my shelves and lives in an ungainly pile on my bedroom floor. Apparently this behavior is so common that that the Japanese have a word for it; tsundoku.
The word is a contraction of the Japanese words tsunde-oku (letting things pile up) and dukosho (reading books.) Unlike a lot of anti-clutter philosophies, people who have big collections often feel calm and happier with their own private libraries. It can be impossible to read them all and one quick trip to the bookstore can add to the stack.
Over at the Big Think, they go into the value of tsundoku.
[…] studies have shown that book ownership and reading typically go hand in hand to great effect.
One such study found that children who grew up in homes with between 80 and 350 books showed improved literacy, numeracy, and information communication technology skills as adults. Exposure to books, the researchers suggested, boosts these cognitive abilities by making reading a part of life's routines and practices.
Many other studies have shown reading habits relay a bevy of benefits. They suggest reading can reduce stress, satisfy social connection needs, bolster social skills and empathy, and boost certain cognitive skills. And that's just fiction! Reading nonfiction is correlated with success and high achievement, helps us better understand ourselves and the world, and gives you the edge come trivia night.
Pretty exciting, right? It gives me an excuse to keep stacking books to the sky. Happy reading!