Well, hardly. We are down to one last box of books, but I was giving homage to a great book, The Last of the Just. This of course has absolutely nothing to do with my situation, although I am sure that a case could be made (badly) that living in Israel is an existential nod to the greater fragility of all mankind.
So let’s not go there.
Instead, let’s talk about books as a value. As something we should have; display; but most of all, use. The enjoyment of books is what is inside and then what can be brought out.
It is most ironic to me that there is a word in Japanese for having too many books. Tsundoku. 積ん読. A little of the history:
The word dates back to the very beginning of modern Japan, the Meiji era (1868-1912) and has its origins in a pun. Tsundoku, which literally means reading pile, is written in Japanese as 積ん読. Tsunde oku means to let something pile up and is written 積んでおく. Some wag around the turn of the century swapped out that oku (おく) in tsunde oku for doku (読) – meaning to read. Then since tsunde doku is hard to say, the word got mushed together to form tsundoku.
Ironic, of course, because of the whole Konmari movement stemming from Japanese minimalism.
I am not proposing that you should only have your books as a wish list. I am saying you should enjoy them in all ways possible. It has to be more than the thrill of the unknown, or the pursuit of happiness…
This is by no means a new insight for me (I wrote about it here); (oh and in March ’12! here); it’s just an essential one. The importance of books/anything should be for intrinsic and extrinsic value. I do get a good feeling seeing our books laid out properly, where they can be located easily, subjects somewhat related. And when need be, and that be a lot, shelved according to size. Large art books sit together sideways.
Here’s a fellow who takes his books to a new art form:
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How did you and your best friend meet? 📚 Liz (@elizabeth_sagan ) is back in one of my pics. Yeeey (actually, she made write that😂)! Seriously now though, for those of you who don't know, Liz is my official photographer (and I am her photographer) and, also, my best friend. We've been knowing each other for 11 years now (I think?) and oh boy, we've been through a lot. Answering what is still one of the most popular DMs I get – NO, we are not in a relationship. We have been sharing everything else though. Our love of reading (which is actually how we met – on a site that dealt with book reviews), of writing, of trekking and sport in general, of music, of drawing and photography. It is kinda like we are soul mates without the relationship part haha (like seriously, we even think of things at the same time and complete each others sentences😂; freaky really). #WHPbestfriends 📚 Anyway, how would you rate your week, guys? Mine was a 7-8. Not bad. 📑 📑 📑 #bookstagram #book #reader #sundayfunday #shelfiesunday #shelfie #bookshelf #bookshelves #art #bookish #readersofinstagram #poetrycommunity #wordporn #myartwork #artoninstagram #lifestyleblogger #czytamy #bedtimestories #friendshipgoals #euamolerh #theweekoninstagram #postitforaesthetic #norsemythology #aesthetic
So, is it true with books as with clothes, that if you haven’t worn them in a year, just let them go?
And yes. Some books you should grow out of. Some just aren’t worth a second or third look.
And oh yes, there are some found treasures in those last boxes. I am happy that we have the room to store them and hopefully the days to sit down and rediscover them.
And yes, kudos to ISHI for
finally putting up the shelves!! But yes, we still need one more bookcase for the last of the boxes.
Tsundoku of our Tzfat house.