Don’t Finish All Your Books? You’re Not Alone

You're not the only one with a wall of unread classics.

Do you buy books with every intention of reading them, only to leave them sitting on the bookshelf, unfinished or maybe even untouched? If you do, don’t worry, you’re in good company. The phenomenon is so common that there’s even a Japanese word for it: “Tsundoku” is “the condition of acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them.”

Whether you don’t have time or you lose interest, data from e-bookseller Kobo shows that purchasing a book is no indication of a willingness to read it. For example, the Pulitzer-prize-winning book “The Goldfinch” was the 37th bestselling ebook of the year for the retailer, but only 44.4 percent of readers finished it, according to The Guardian.

It turns out, the most completed books aren’t always bestsellers, so you might want to keep that in mind when choosing your next novel. The Kobo data also found that British readers were most likely to finish a romance novel, with 62% completion, followed by crime and thrillers (61%) and fantasy (60%).

Ready to break your Tsundoku habit? Why not head to your bookshelf and get started reading—and finishing— all of those books that are just sitting there looking pretty? Business Insider offers 5 tips for reading (and finishing) a book every day. We’re wondering who has the time to read an entire book every day, but, hey, even finishing one a month is progress for some of us.

1. Put on white noise in the background.

This will minimize distractions and help you read faster.

2. Listen to an audiobook.

Listening allows you to multitask, “reading” while driving, exercising or doing housework.

3. Vary genres from book to book.

This will help keep you from tiring of your current read.

4. Take your book with you wherever you go.

You never know when you’ll end up with five extra minutes to read a few more pages.

5. Get your next book queued up.

You’ll minimize downtime between books if you decide what’s up next before you finish your current book.

Photo by Brittany Stevens