In his book The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb discusses the following question with Umberto Eco, who happens to possess a rather significant, personal library.
- Is the value of a library in the books you've read or in the books you have not read?
Most people are disappointed to learn that Eco hasn't read most of the books it contains. Eco feels precisely the opposite. To him, the value of the library lies in the unread books--the books yet to be discovered.
Which is why he continues adding to his collection. So to Eco (and Taleb), the library's value lies in its undiscovered volumes, which echo's Shakespeare's line about the "undiscovered country."
But others answer the question differently...