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What’s in Your Anti-Library?

I’m an avid reader. I started young and never stopped.

By 2005, I’d studied leadership for more than a decade and I’d slowly built an impressive collection of books.

Promoted to Vice-Principal, I moved into my office in a new school and for the first time I decided to proudly display my large collection of books on my shelves.

Colleagues were suitably impressed for about a month.

But not apparently my new boss who within two weeks of her arrival promptly fired me!

I remember to this day how I packed that collection of books into my car and drove home from the school, tears streaming down my face.

Even in the moment, the irony didn’t escape me that leadership is what’s inside of you, not what’s on your shelf!

And I took my book collection to a charity shop the next day and gave them all away.

I figured the insights were either inside of me or I’d buy the book again if I needed it.

Recently, I came across the term anti-library, which was coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

The idea is that your personal library is normally a collection of books that you’ve read.

And that there is little value in retaining these books unless you are going to refer to them from time to time.

A better idea is a collection of books one owns but hasn’t yet read – these represent a body of potential learning.

Here’s the collection of books I’ve purchased in 2016 that I’ve not yet read or that I plan to re-read.

I’m curious what YOU have read in 2016 or added to your anti-library for 2017?

Love. Rich

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