Tsundoku or the art of decorating with books

tsundoku 2

Although books are created with the goal of being read, More and more people are using it for decorative purposes. This practice is known by the name of tsundoku and every day that passes it has more followers around the world. The concept was created in Japan and consists of stacking books in different parts of the house and achieving a unique and original decorative touch.

In the next article we talk much more of this decorative practice and its characteristics.

Origin of Tsundoku

Tsundoku has its origins in the XNUMXth century in Japan and it is a decorative trend that uses books to decorate rooms in the house. In relation to the books, they can be used copies or new ones without being released. Any book is valid when decorating a certain area of ​​the house. Using books when decorating the house is a positive detail for it, either with old or totally new books.

Piles of books stacked on a carpet

How to implement tsundoku decoration

Not everyone can afford to have large shelves in the living room where they can place their books. This type of decoration is much more accessible and allows you to give a different touch to the chosen room. Then we are going to talk about the characteristics of the tsundoku decoration and how to put it into practice:

  • If you want a different and original decoration, do not hesitate to stack books in some space of the house. It does not matter the size of the same or if they are of a different color, the important thing is to stack them and place them on top of each other.
  • Another advantage of the tsundoku decoration is that it is perfect, when it comes to taking advantage of the smallest spaces in the house. You can put books on the sides of the sofa or armchairs and give a unique decorative touch to the room.
  • This type of decoration does not have to be limited to rooms such as the living room or dining room. If you achieve a certain balance in the decoration, you can put stacked books in other rooms of the house like the bathroom or the kitchen.
  • It is normal for dust and dirt to accumulate on book covers over time. That is why it is important that you clean them regularly. An option to avoid cleaning regularly is to place the different free ones in a display case.
  • Another point in favor of tsundoku is due to the fact that allows to form shelves with various materials such as wood or plastic. To achieve greater decorative strength on a visual level, experts recommend interspersing them horizontally and vertically.


How to organize the books in the tsundoku decoration

This type of decoration advises to organize the different books in several ways:

  • A first way to organize books is to follow the chronological order of used books.
  • another way to order it's totally random, regardless of the colors or sizes of the books.
  • Other people opt for alphabetical order when organizing books. This is a traditional and quite popular way of stacking books.
  • Books can also be placed according to their size. You can put the largest ones first and then the smaller ones.
  • In case you want to focus attention on the pile of books, you can sort them by colors.
  • Many people prefer to put books inside out, that is, with the spine facing in and the pages facing out. With this type of organization it is possible to transmit a sense of order in the chosen room.
  • One last way to order the books is taking into account those that have been read and those that are yet to be released. This type of organization is perfect for those people that give more importance to the act of reading than to the decoration of the house itself.


In short, tsundoku is a decorative practice that is currently a trend and that collides head-on with minimalism and with the famous phrase that less is more. If you like reading and don't know what to do with so many books, don't hesitate to use them to achieve a unique and original decorative style. Remember that it is enough to put them stacked as you want and that you can use them when covering small spaces in which no type of furniture will fit. The only problem with this decorative style is due to the fact that dirt and dust accumulate on top of the books. Frequent and continuous cleaning will allow you to enjoy this decorative practice.

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