Building an antilibrary: the power of unread books - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

Building an antilibrary: the power of unread books

https://nesslabs.com/antilibrary

nesslabs.com

Building an antilibrary: the power of unread books
Unread books are as powerful as the ones we read. An antilibrary is a private collection of unread books capturing the vastness of the unknown.

3

Key Ideas

Save all ideas

Antilibrary: the power of unread books

Antilibrary: the power of unread books

An antilibrary is a private collection of mostly unread books. It is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool.

It should contain a collection of resources around themes you are curious about. It should include as many unread books as your financial means allows you to put there. The more knowledge you accumulate, the larger the rows of unread books.

137 SAVES

768 READS

VIEW

The antilibrary makes us aware of unknown unknowns

The vastness of the unknown can feel overwhelming, which is why people feel uncomfortable with accumulating books they haven't read. But embracing the unknown is what drives discovery.

The antilibrary is then a reminder of everything we don't know. Being surrounded by books we haven't read yet reminds us how limited our knowledge is - it is a humbling experience.

147 SAVES

530 READS

How to maintain an antilibrary

  • Make notes of all relevant references. When an author mentions another book, make a note of the exact reference, then research it. In the process, you will discover books that genuinely piques your curiosity that can be added to your antilibrary.
  • Ask fellow readers for recommendations.
  • Allow for chance discoveries. Ensure you leave space for interesting books that you randomly bought because the title or cover grabbed your attention.
  • Do not expect the proportion of unread books to decrease. The more you read, the more unread books will be added to your antilibrary.
  • Improve your relationship with knowledge. Your antilibrary may feel a bit anxiety-inducing. Remember that knowledge is a process, not a possession. An antilibrary is an investment in yourself.

145 SAVES

498 READS

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Success And Buying Too Many Books

Many of us buy lots of books that go unread and causes us guilt, but that’s a habit that many successful people have they believe they are better off for it.

For those who actually put in the...

“I maybe start half the books I get, and I probably finish a third of the books I start. And that works out to finishing 1–2 books per week.” 

“I maybe start half the books I get, and I probably finish a third of the books I start. And that works out to finishing 1–2 books per week.” 

View Books As An Experiment

It costs you money and time, but it may pay for itself by changing your life for the better. It’s an experiment. And the more “smart” experiments you perform, the more likely you are to find a breakthrough experiment that changes everything.

Inherent in being a good experimenter is being OK with the losses. Therefore, remember that every time you purchase a book that turns out to be a dud, you are just one step closer to a book that will change your life.

8 more ideas

A habit of compounding growth

Reading is a habit of compounding growth. When reading, you'll learn more, and you'll generate ideas and motivation for making other changes.

Reading books means you're getting more concentra...

Put the book down

The real cause of reading too few books is that you don't enjoy it enough.

Don't feel compelled to finish a book that has become boring, predictable or unhelpful. Start a new one. You can have many books through various states of completion. Some won't be finished, and that's okay. Reading less is worse than having a few go unfinished.

Build an online library

An obstacle to your reading habit is not having enough interesting books waiting to be read.

Create a list of potentially good books. If you have a Kindle or eReader, get samples of any book you might want to read — Source your wishlist from suggestions from other writers and authors. When someone recommends a book on a blog or tweet, add it to your wishlist.

Charlie Munger

“The more basic knowledge you have … the less new knowledge you have to get.”

Charlie Munger

Getting to a deeper understanding of a subject

  • Understanding the basics. This is a key element of effective thinking. Understanding a simple idea deeply builds a solid foundation for complex ideas.
  • Build your foundation. Be honest with what you really know by using the Feynman Technique (by teaching others). It will reveal any gaps you have in your knowledge.
  • Obtain the basic mental models from multiple disciplines. You don't need to understand everything on a subject, but you should understand the basic concepts from various disciplines.
  • Understanding the basics allows for a better understanding of second and subsequent order consequences.

The "Lindy effect"

This is just a fancy way to say what has been will continue to be.

Time can predict value. Some things, like books, increase in life expectancy as time goes by. If a book has been in print for forty years, we can expect it to be in print for another forty years.