There's a word for buying loads of books and never reading them

There's a word for buying loads of books and never reading them
Picture: smiltena/istock

Have you read all the books you own?

At first glance, the above question seems superfluous: of course you have! Nobody buys books without reading them…

Except some people do.

And there’s actually a word for that kind of behaviour:


The Japanese word literally translates to ‘reading pile’.

Ebook sales have gone down for the first time since the dawn of the digital age, by 2.4 per cent. Clearly, people still prefer reading physical books.

Statista created a chart using data from the World Culture Score Index, to demonstrate which countries read the most:

People in India spend, on average 10.42 hours reading per week, followed closely by Thai people with 9.24.

In comparison, the UK comes out towards the end of the graph, with an abysmal 5.18 hours a week.

So why buy a book you don't intend to read?

There are several reasons people might purchase books they don’t intend to read:

  • It's a present

  • The book you actually want is part of a promotion and it’s cheaper to get the one you don’t intend to read too.

  • The book cover is beautiful

  • For an art project

  • The cashier in the bookshop is attractive 

  • To cut out words to use in a threat letter...

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