A crowded bookcase can tell a lot about your level of intelligence. And what is most impressive: even unread books are of great benefit.
Experts say that constant training will help you be happier, earn more and even improve your health. In addition, many of the most successful people in business insist that reading is the best way to become smarter. So what do you need to do right now? Go to the bookstore and buy books, lots of books.
You should stop buying books only when you don’t read them at all. If you set aside at least four hours a week to read something, then you can safely go to a bookstore. A library full of unread books does not characterize you as lazy or utterly ignorant.
Umberto Eco Anti-Library
Writer and statistician Nassim Taleb explained the benefits of unread books around you in his bestseller “Black Swan”. He presents his thoughts in the form of an anecdote about the legendary library of the Italian writer Umberto Eco, which collected, oddly enough, as many as 30,000 volumes.
Did Eco really read all these books? Of course not! However, they constantly reminded him of everything he did not yet know. The Umberto Eco Library supported his intellectual thirst and curiosity. An ever-growing collection of books can do the same for you. According to Taleb, you need to buy as many books as your finances, mortgages and the current difficult situation in the real estate market allow.
Over the years, you will gain more knowledge and expand your library, and increasing the number of unread books may seem threatening to you. In fact, the broader your horizons, the more unread books on the shelf. Let’s call this collection of unread books an anti-library.
An anti-library is an effective way to remind you of a vast amount of information that you don’t know at all or know very little about. And if you live with such a reminder, then every day you push yourself to a certain intellectual humility, which encourages learning and helps to make the right decisions.
“People don’t bring their resumes, telling everyone what they haven’t learned and what they don’t have experience in (it’s their competitors’ job to talk about it), although it would be nice if they did it themselves,” Taleb said.
It is a well-known psychological fact: the most incompetent people are the most confident in their knowledge and skills, and the truly intelligent constantly doubt everything. (In psychology, this is called the Dunning-Krueger effect). It is also known that the easier it is for you to admit that you do not know something, the faster you will learn it.
So stop blaming yourself for buying too many books or for making a long list of new books to read. Thanks to this, you understand that you are not quite educated yet. However, if you realize how ignorant you are, then you are one step ahead of the vast majority of people.