[There was an] answer which Anatole France gave to a philistine who admired his library and then finished with the standard question, “And you have read all these books, Monsier France?” “Not one-tenth of them. I don’t suppose you use your Sevres china every day?”
In sharing this quote, Andy observed (rather poetically I think),
Benjamin’s a good starting point to wonder about the nature of collecting as objects become de-objectified. Building private PDF libraries, for instance, will lack a certain spirit once these libraries are localized on devices that will be able to access any PDF from any library, ever. Why continue to collect? At that point we’ll no longer be collecting so much as rearranging, recommending various combinations of texts for others rather than hoarding for ourselves. The continued ubiquity of playlists.