I recently read about Anti-Libraries. What is an anti-library you ask? Well, it appears you buy books and put them on your bookshelf, literally your TBR pile. But- then you never read them. Never! And- you keep buying more books to add to this literal shelf that you have no intention of reading. The goal is to have a whole wall of unread books, that you’re never going to read.
Buy books, display them, but use them as just that- decoration?
Now, this whole thing goes against my thinking:
- Spending money unnecessarily
- Adding clutter to you home
- Having things in your home that you have no intention of using (I know this seems like the previous thing, but I assure you it’s not)
- Having a long TBR
- Not reading books that you bought
How could I ever have an anti-library?
We’re going to try to be open minded. We’re going to think this theory through with logic. What’s the purpose of an anti-library? The theory is that by having a bunch of books right in front of you, it will keep you intellectually curious. The mere thought of “maybe you’ll get to it one day” or “wow, what an interesting concept” is enough to keep your mind alert.
Unread books that I have no intention of reading are supposed to keep me intellectually curious. Wouldn’t just reading the book make you smarter? When my daughter needs to learn a subject she reads the books- she doesn’t stare at them, or put them under her pillow to be absorbed by osmosis (though she has tried the osmosis thing). And when she reads the books, she often becomes “intellectually curious” because she has learned something new and wants to find out more. I don’t think staring at a pile of unread books makes you smarter or more interested. It definitely makes you less interesting…
Friend: “Wow. This book on astrophysics of teapots looks wonderful. What did you think?
Anti-Librarian: Oh, I don’t know. I thought it would be nice to think about thinking about it. I’m curious that way.
I could never have a shelf of books that I have no intention of reading. It would drive me crazy. I’m always purging. I also can’t have more than five books on my TBR- if I’m interested in a book, I need to read it as soon as possible. And even though I don’t have a book shelf filled with books that I have no intention of reading, I still think I’m intellectually curious. I still want to learn about all sorts of things by reading. I want to add to my breadth of knowledge by actually participating in things. I don’t want to be passive. I don’t want to be aggressive either, but that’s a whole other blog.
Was “anti-library” thought up by someone who had a big pile of books sitting in their nightstand and had to come up with a theory for rationalizing the expenditure and clutter? I’m all for rationalizing- I’ve made it into an art form. But, do we need to come up with a theory to cover up our mistakes, to legitimize them? That’s the real question.
But as I analyze that point, I’m going to work on my new theory: anti-cleaning. I’m going to look at the mess and destruction but just keep it there, untouched, because by doing that, my home will actually be cleaner…