Have you read them all?

In my home, I have approaching 2,000 books – probably not that unusual for someone who is both middle-class and middle-aged. But some visitors to our house – especially some rather cheeky young relatives – sometimes ask me: “Have you read them all?”
Of course, I haven’t – not least because a proportion of them are reference works. But should I have read them all?
Currently I’m reading “The Black Swan: The Impact Of The Highly Improbable” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
At one point, early in the book, Taleb refers to the library of the writer Umberto Eco which apparently amounts to some 30,000 titles. It seems that Eco has the same problem as me with visitors exclaiming “How many have you read?”
Now Taleb argues that “Read books are far less valuable than unread books” and he calls this collection of unread books “an antilibrary”. I love my antilibrary because I love learning.

One Comment

  • Richard Leyton

    Snap! I’m reading the same book myself, having identified it a while back as a book I wanted to read, and finding it in a good 3 for 2 offer the other day.
    So far so good (bar his slightly aloof (arrogant?) style). Some fascinating insights.
    Will be interested to read your review.


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>