Building a Great Personal Library - Marks in the Sand



Building a Great Personal Library

May 2, 2012 © Kramii (filed under Books, Literature, Study, Wisdom)

Here area some simple principles that have helped me start building a great personal library, a collection of books that are worth reading and re-reading:

Know the Value of Books

Books can be a valuable aid to living a rich and worthwhile life, but they can also be a distraction from achieving your purpose.

  • Owning a book you’ll never read (or read again) is an investment in waste
  • Don’t buy books because they are cheap, but because they are valuable
  • Don’t buy a book if you can borrow it
  • Never pay full price for a book

Your goal should be to build a great life, not a great library.

Read Only The Best

There are many, many really good books in the world, but my life is too short to read even a fraction of this number .

  • You don’t have time to read books that are merely good. Only read books rather than great.
  • Nothing but the best of the best belongs on your bookshelf.

A great library is not defined by the great books that are in it, but by the mediocre books that you omit.

Read Widely

Different areas of life can be fed by different types of literature.

Much of my reading falls into three very broad categories:

I find that it is better to read the books in each category than to focus on just one area.

Seek Recommendations

If you’re not sure what to read, ask someone. Then ask someone else. Only read a book if it has been recommended by at least three people whose opinion in that area you respect.

If you’re not sure who to ask, seek out an on-line community that specialises in that area and ask there.

Above All, READ!

If you’re not reading, ignore everything I’ve said. It really doesn’t matter what you read as long as you read something.

Acknowledgements

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