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That's the argument author and statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb makes in his bestseller The Black Swan

. Perpetually fascinating blog Brain Pickings dug up and highlighted the section in a particularly lovely post . Taleb kicks off his musings with an anecdote about the legendary library of Italian writer Umberto Eco, which contained a jaw-dropping 30,000 volumes.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Why You Should Surround Yourself With More Books Than You'll Ever Have Time to Read

An antilibrary is a powerful reminder of your limitations -- the vast quantity of things you don't know, half-know, or will one day realize you're wrong about. By living with that reminder daily you can nudge yourself toward the kind of intellectual humility that improves decision-making and drives learning.

"People don't walk around with anti-résumés telling you what they have not studied or experienced (it's the job of their competitors to do that), but it would be nice if they did," Taleb claims.

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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 time to read and learn how to learn, a pile of unread books may actually be a sign of intelligence rather than the lack of it.

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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.

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Best for the latest European startup news: Sifted

Backed by the Financial Times, Sifted publishes news and views across the entire European startup ecosystem. From funding rounds to thought-provoking commentary from some of the startup world’s most successful founders, Sifted is the place to go to find upcoming trends, hard-hitting startup journalism, and excellent think-pieces. 

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