Anti-Library

by Karthi

The value of library lies in the books that are still unread

The value of library lies in the books that are still unread.  Those books that still eludes the reader with their wealth of information. This idea is beautifully explained in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book The Black Swan , in which he explains Umberto Eco’s library.

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.

Yesterday, I was bit lucky to find some of the really good books were selling at unbelievable discounts at the Landmark. Most of them priced at Rs 99.

( On the other note, these books had three different stickers with three different prices, that induced some suspense )

  • Stephen Baker’s The Numerati
  • Brenda Maddox’s Freud’s Wizard
  • John Brockman’s The Third Culture
  • Stephen Jay Gould’s Rocks of Age
  • David Bodanis’s Passionate Minds
  • John Brockman edited Intelligent Thought
  • Andrew Chaikin’s Man on the Moon
  • Oliver Sacks’ Uncle Tungsten
  • Oliver Sacks’ Seeing Voices
  • Stephen Jay Gould’s Life’s Grandeur
  • Brian Dillion’s Tormented Hope
  • Stephen Jay Gould’s I Have Landed
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