Empty Bookshelves

Recently I bought a few books to add to my bookshelves here at home. In recent years I generally used my kindle for reading and to purchase books. So easy and convenient. Yet I am in a different place these days, same as many of you.  As a corporate citizen, I have been working from home for two months, and well, no end in sight.

So I find I enjoy my physical books, on the shelf and laying open, dog-eared on my desk. Many of these books relate to my business interests in organizational development and change management. Others focus on my passion for writing and photography. The remaining books are classic novels and a few biographies. For me, this library is connected and I find wisdom accessing it all.

I am thinking of my library as I came across a quote today speaking on the size and use of one’s library.

“What’s the point of having countless books and libraries, whose titles could hardly be read through in a lifetime. The learner is not taught, but burdened by the sheer volume, and it’s better to plant the seeds of a few authors than to be scattered about by many.”

Indeed, a level of focus and depth on a few authors speaks to me. As I scan my library the number of books is greater than the list of authors. I have multiple books from the same set of authors as I recognize depth being as important as breath.

A life lesson I would share with anyone beginning a business career is going for depth in your chosen field, but remember the breadth of content available, written by countless authors. Choose wisely the authors you add to your bookshelf.

Life is a balance and your bookshelf reflects your choices. 

As to who wrote these lines quoted here today … it was Seneca, a Roman philosopher who lived in the first century so long ago! Even then with far fewer choices (yea, big understatement) for his reading and library, he recognized the need to stay aware of one’s library and assure you first focus on depth of knowledge.

As I read more of Seneca, another of his quotes stands out to me and stops me cold.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

This is me today. I close my eyes, shake my head clear, and step forward. Take care everyone and better days ahead. As always, WeMoveTogether.


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