Money is (still) no cure for ignorance


It is the weekend, and the FT is “probing” another strain of conspicuous consumption: bespoke libraries. (Is there a wholesale version?)

WTF?

Paying people to assemble a library in your home is like paying them to hunt, kill, prepare and eat food for you – leaving you with some rotting antlers to hang on a wall.

For the more serious bibliophile, it might even be akin to hire someone else to fall in love, have sex, raise a family and send you the photoalbums to display as your own.

The pleasure of a personal library (or any private collection) is foremost in the process – the search, the read, your autonomous curation – without which the display is pure theatrical scenery. Glancing over the scenery offers you no memories, no connection of your own reflections, impulses, ideas and revelations – no history. The epic story of assembling your “bespoke collection” is that you sent some nerd an e-mail, he showed up at your house with a truck, you paid him a princely sum, and now you have a room full of inked paper.

But the worst part is that it seems completely counterproductive. Instead of being seen as well-read and intellectual, you increase the risk of proving that you are not. Imagine the embarassment of being asked by a house guest your opinions of a book in your personal library, and not being able to offer any.

It is like purchasing stage 4 Alzheimer’s.

Read the full article at: https://www.ft.com/content/9b4a4542-1e17-11e8-a748-5da7d696ccab

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