I’m always surprised at what you can learn through casual remarks and asides.

I have the habit of taking out far more library books than I ever have the time to read. At the moment I’ve put them in three different piles on the floor of the living room, mainly to goad me to try them out! They’re a mix of fiction and non-fiction.

To reduce the reading list, I recently decided to return two (skimmed through but not read) to the library. After doing this, and then some browsing around, I found myself leaving with four additional books.

They were all fiction: Llosa, Isherwood, Mankell and Camilleri. I used to be a fan of Isherwood so I thought it would be fun to revisit, Llosa – well I’d always wanted to read one of his books (I had a Brazilian girlfriend at one time and she recommended him to me) and so on.

I mean, with so many temptations, how can you resist? So, overall, a net increase in books to read…

Anyway, whilst checking them out, I mentioned my quandary to the assistant and she responded with a single mysterious word “Tsundoku”. I then learnt that there was a Japanese word for this, how amazing!

Now I need to find out if there is a word for “regularly learning something quite surprising from casual asides” 🙂

Picture credit: Reprinted from LOST IN TRANSLATION © 2014 by Ella Frances Sanders. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


  1. lazarusdodge says:

    All these years…who knew? I think I’m turning Japanese… 🙂

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