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  • Lai Han Sam

The Lost Art of Reading Books


Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash


Tsundoku (Japanese: 積ん読) is acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one's home without reading them. The term originated in the Meiji era (1868–1912) as Japanese slang. It combines elements of tsunde-oku (積んでおく, to pile things up ready for later and leave) and dokusho (読書, reading books). – Source: Wikipedia

In other words, buying more books than one can read.


I love books. My life has changed multiple times because, together with, despite of books. I definitely “suffer” from tsundoku. I have piles of books on my worktable, my bedside table, on the floor of my study, on my overflowing bookshelves and sometimes on my coffee table. I love the smell of new books and the prospect of discovering new worlds, pushing the boundaries of my knowledge and reality.


The look, smell and indulgence of reading for hours is something that inspires, awakens and energises me. The moment of receiving the book is magical for me. I look forward to the possibility of changing my life yet again.


So this year, I decided to challenge myself by reading one book every week. Nevermind what kind – just what tickles my fancy. I even have a tracking list in my planner. Yes, hand drawn and written, bullet journal style.


When I was pregnant, I read the book “What To Expect When You Are Expecting” and the following books in the series as my children grew. I felt more prepared and more competent as I eagerly flip the pages.


When I was struggling with my role as a wife, I read “The Power of a Praying Wife”. It changed the way I looked at marriage and helped me to pray for my husband. This changed the trajectory our marriage was on towards more love and growth.


When I was making a major transition in my professional life, more books than I can list here helped me to transition, accept the change and harness my personal power for good. Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly” and Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat Pray Love” were 2 powerful books among others that helped me change my perspective of what I can do.


When I was lost in my own confusion of where I am in society, “Night” by Elie Wiesel, awaken my gratitude of all that I have. To find contentment and lose the worry of not being good enough came as a result of reading the book.


I love e-books too! But I must admit, it does not have the shine and sparkle an actual hard copy book gives me. The prospect of wonderment and excitement of finding out what comes next with each flip of the page is priceless to me.


What books moved or changed you?


#hansamlai #lifework #booksarelove #booksmove #bookschange

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