7 min read · 2020-10-29 · Unread books can be as powerful as the ones we have read, if we choose to consider them in the right light.
For Umberto Eco, a private library is a research tool. The goal of an antilibrary is not to collect books you have read so you can proudly display them on your shelf; instead, it is to curate a highly personal collection of resources around themes you are curious about. Instead of a celebration of everything you know, an antilibrary is an ode to everything you want to explore.
an antilibrary may even be an antidote to the Dunning–Kruger effect, where we tend to overestimate the extent of our knowledge. Whether in a private or a public library, being surrounded by books we haven’t read yet—in the case of Umberto Eco, too many books to read in a lifetime—is a humbling experience.
the more you read, the more you will expand your perimeter of knowledge, and the more unread books will be added to your antilibrary. It is not a bad thing, it means you are progressively turning unknown unknowns into known unknowns.