Tsundoku, or it’s Opposite

This is a 990 sq ft (92 sq m) four-room apartment in Bedok. S$120,000/- was spent to refurbish it.

But what’s wrong with it?

Not a book in sight.

No bookshelves can be seen.

If your TV is bigger than your bookshelf, it says something about you. In this case, there’s not a single book in sight, not to mention a bookshelf.

That people are reading less seems to be the current trend.

TikTok allows video up to 10 minutes, but says surveys show almost half its users are stressed by anything longer than a minute. An Instagram video can be up to 90 seconds, but experts reckon the ideal time to maximise engagement is less than 15 seconds. Twitter doubled the length of tweets in 2017 to 280 characters, but the typical length is more like 33 characters. With people’s attention span very much shortened nowadays, who is reading anymore? Books fight hard against the short-term dopamine rush that social media provides. I know many retards who would spend hours scrolling through feeds of people they dislike pretending to live lifestyles that are fake!

Social media is infantilizing human beings, people read less, making them less literate.

I, on the other hand, can’t live without books.

In my house, books are everywhere, books line the walls of my living room and books can be found in every room, in every nook and cranny, on top of the piano, on the coffee table, even in the toilets and kitchens. There are piles of books on my bedroom floor, and there are bookshelves next to my bed, chocked full of books.

Books are just about everywhere in the House of Lohcifer. Our family members are voracious readers.

Also, I like nothing more than looking at the books people have in their homes.

People’s libraries tell me a lot about themselves.

Due to space constraints, I once had to give away lots of books, to make way for new ones.

A friend came with two ginormous suitcases and helped himself.

I was impressed by his eclectic taste in books but my jaw dropped when he told me he wanted those books to decorate his apartment, not to read.

Yup, there are those who engage in tsundoku, a Japanese term used to describe a person who owns a lot of unread books.

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