“The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and nondull.
He is the owner of a large personal library [containing thirty thousand books], and separates visitors into two categories:
– those who react with “Wow! Signore, professore dottore Eco, what a library you have ! How many of these books have you read?” and the others
– a very small minority – who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool.
Read books are far less valuable than unread ones.
The library should contain as much of what you don’t know as your financial means, mortgage rates and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there.
You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menancingly.
Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.”
― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
This quote really resonates so very well:
“The more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary”
I absolutely agree that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool.
Unread books reminds us to be humble, surrounding ourselves with unread books enriches our lives as they remind us of all we don’t know.
Thank you Uncle Nassim for the reminder that the knowledge we have [read books] is incomplete and infinitesimal.