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Why the Worlds Great Book Lovers All Have ‘Anti-Libraries’
Twenty20

When it comes to home decor, we’re all about that Scandi chic minimalism (but you know, with some clutter) and attempting to channel our very best Marie Kondo. But there’s one thing that we just can’t say no to buying more of—books. Which means that, inevitably, our homes are filled with piles (and piles) of unread books (there’s actually a name for this—tsundoku). But instead of feeling guilty about it, we’re giving ourselves a pat on the back for our highly intellectual “anti-library.”

Coined by the author Nassim Taleb, the idea of an anti-library is that everyone should have a shelf filled with books that they haven’t read, because this keeps them intellectually curious and humble (by reminding you that there’s so much you don’t know yet).

“The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means...allow you to put there,” Taleb says. “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 menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books.”

The author argues that an unread book is far more valuable than a read one, which definitely makes us feel way less embarrassed about all the unopened short story collections lying around our bedroom.

TL; DR: Stop beating yourself up about the books you haven’t read—it means you’re a genius. (Oh, and go ahead and buy yourself another novel.)

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