The truly cultured are capable of owning thousands of unread books without losing their composure or their desire for more.
As publishing has become less expensive, the urge to write my own self has become the opportunity to publish my own self. Everyone now can afford to preach in the desert.
Wealth is above all an accumulation of possibilities
What does it matter how cultivated and up-to-date we are, or how many thousands of books we’ve read? What matters is how we feel, how we see, what we do after reading; whether the street and the clouds and the existence of others mean anything to us; whether reading makes us, physically, more alive.
Those who aspire to the status of cultured individuals visit bookstores with trepidation, overwhelmed by the immensity of all they have not read. They buy something that theyve been told is good, make an unsuccessful attempt to read it, and when they have accumulated half a dozen unread books, feel so bad that they are afraid to buy more. In contrast, the truly cultured are capable of owning thousands of unread books without losing their composure or their desire for more.
Confronted with the choice between having time and having things, we’ve chosen to have things. Today it is a luxury to read what Socrates said, not because the books are expensive, but because our time is scarce.
The probability of finding a particular book increases in relation to the clarity of the store’s focus, the diligence and shrewdness of the bookseller, and the size of the business.