Fast Company wants us to know Why You Should Surround Yourself With More Books Than You’ll Ever Have Time To Read. I cannot tell you how excited I was when I first saw this article. Not only did it give me permission to keep buying more books, but it also gave me permission not to feel guilty about not yet having read the books I already own. The article cites the 30,000 volume library of Umberto Eco (more on that later) and suggests that his library kept him intellectually hungry and perpetually curious. I’m not suggesting that you accumulate 30,000 books…unless you want to. After all, who am I to put a cap on your curiosity?
Of course, Eco is not the only famous person who owns(ed) a lot of books. Emily Temple, LitHub, compiled this list of 10 Famous Book Hoarders with honorable mention for several more who didn’t quite make the list. Mind you, in the day and age when books were significant investments, Thomas Jefferson’s 6,487 books looks significantly more impressive than a present day collection of the same number of books.
Finally, from Matt Grant at Book Riot, comes this article about the Japanese art form of tsundoku to help us feel better about those shelves of unread books. According to the article, A. Edward Newton, an avid book collector who wrote three books on the subject a century ago, wrote “the presence of books acquired produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching toward infinity…We cherish books even if unread, their mere presence exudes comfort, their ready access reassurance.” So mental health therapy, right? And at a price far less than a therapy session would cost! So this weekend, venture out and buy the books. It’s good for you!