Etymology: The Japanese word tsundoku (積ん読) merges the kanji for tsunde boku, “to let something pile up,” and dock, “to read.” The hybrid term was something of a rhymed pun when it first appeared in print in the late 19th century. It can be translated loosely as “to buy reading materials and let them pile up.” Meaning: Tsundoku carries no pejorative sense in Japanese. Rather it connotes a cheerful whimsy: wobbly towers of unread books, each containing an unknown world. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Two Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 47 Word: Döstädning A Swedish solution to the mess of death. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Word: Wintering When to withdraw from the world. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Word: Explication An explanation to end all explanations. Arts & Culture Issue 44 Word: Anecdata Fact, meet fiction. Arts & Culture Issue 43 Word: Knolling The fascinating history of the flat lay. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Word: Hyperobject A word for things too huge to name.