Anti-library or unread books make people smarter

photo: Umberto Eco

Lately, the emphasis is on minimalism in all areas of life and that we should take care of the amount of things we have. The same principle of minimalism applies to the number of books we keep in our home library. The idea that we have to watch how many books we have is stressful, especially for book lovers.
There are so many good books in the world, and while we know we won’t be able to read them all, that doesn’t stop us from trying, writes Better Reading.
Fans of the written word and reading will be happy to hear that there is a theory that claims that it is better to have as many books as possible. Author and statistician Nassim Taleb Nicholas in his bestseller “The Black Swan” advises people to have more books than they can read in their lifetime.
This theory is based on the concept of “anti-library”. This term does not mean a boycott of libraries, but the careful maintenance of a home library that reminds people of their own limitations. A home library with its size is a reminder to people of things you still don’t know about the world and yourself.
For example, did you know that Umberto Eco had over 30,000 books in his personal library? Italian writer Umberto Eco failed to read all 30,000 titles during his lifetime. There is another reason behind this. All those books reminded him of everything he needed to learn and understand. All of these headlines made Eco want to progress and learn every day. The books expanded his mind and view of the world – he did not want to be satisfied with the knowledge he had, but he wanted every unread book to motivate him to learn, progress and observe the world from different angles.
The good news is that unread books have the same impact on average readers. It is especially important that children grow up surrounded by books that serve as reminders of worlds, stories, lives and people we do not encounter in everyday life. That is the power that books have – they expand worldviews, vistas, knowledge, the world, reminding us of everything that happens outside our home.


  1. Nice post. Thanks for relieving some of my guilt. Our house is filled with books and we always have a decent pile checked out from the library. I’ll have to call upon Eco’s spirit for strength when I need to dust.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Carol,

      Thanks a lot for your positivism. Books are great. I personally know a lot of people and their difficult life-situations when books helped them. Just keep reading of some of your books. If possible give us sometimes some recommendation. I appreciate it very much. Wishing you all the best and happiness.

      Liked by 1 person

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