Let me tell you a quick little story…
Italian writer Umberto Eco had a personal library which contained a jaw-dropping 30,000 volumes. Did Eco actually read all those books? Of course not, but that wasn’t the point of surrounding himself with so much unrealized wisdom.
Eco’s library kept him intellectually hungry and perpetually curious by providing a constant reminder of all the things he didn’t know. An ever-growing collection of books you haven’t yet read can do the same for you.
Author and statistician Nassim Taleb makes an argument that read books are far less valuable than unread ones. Your personal library should contain as much of what you do not know as what you do. That struck me as super obvious AFTER I heard it from Taleb but never thought of it that way until I heard him say it.
While I’d never want someone to buy and not read one of my books, it’s comforting knowing that a person having a book shelf full of what they don’t know can serve as a valuable reminder to them.
That’s the funny thing about knowledge. It was obvious to Taleb and Eco that unread books are more valuable than read ones but it wasn’t immediately obvious to me.
Often what we don’t know is obvious to others but not to ourselves. Speaking of obvious, last week I published a new book. In 1916 author Robert Updegrafft wrote a short story called Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Businessman.
It’s about an unlikely young professional who creates his own career opportunities (and massive success) by simply noticing the obvious which other far more experienced “experts” overlooked.
A mentor recommended and I’ve read it dozens of times. And gained so much insight and wisdom from this short 40 page story that I’ve republished it and included a foreword and afterword I’ve written. My foreword and afterword serve as a study guide on how you can apply the wisdom from the book.
It’s currently available on Kindle for just $2.99.
P.S. And it won’t take up any space on your shelf. If you want the paperback version that will be released next week.