Building Your Antilibrary

In The Black Swan, Taleb caught me doing something stupid. He said that only an idiot walks into someone’s library and says “Have you really read all these books?” A good library is filled with unread books– an “antilibrary.” Tucker has crates of books in perfect condition.

I used to feel guilty when I saw unread books piling up on my floor. Now I understand that it is still a step in the right direction because it reminds you of what you don’t know. It’s like the difference between kinetic and potential energy. So I have been adding to the stack. And if I had the money, I’d buy all these and probably not read them for a while.

What is in your antilibrary? What should I add to mine?

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.