The end is nighJune 26, 2008 at 9:33 pm | Posted in Ramblings | Leave a comment
Just recently is finished “Svartir Englar” by Ævar Örn Jósepsson (I read the Dutch version) although I was pretty bored after the first twenty pages. After finishing the book I realized that I should have stopped after those initial pages since this has just been a waste of my time. The question then came up how many books I was going to read about the end of my life. In his book “Metamagical Themas” Douglas Hofstadter learns us that it is actually pretty straightforward to come up with answers to questions such as “how many books are there in all the libraries in the world”. In my case it is far more easy: I will probably live for another 40 years and I finish 1 book per week on the average. So I still have about 2000 books to go. Might be a bit more or a bit less, but for sure I’m not going to finish 10.000 books.
How much shelf space will those books take? Let’s suppose those books are 2 cm thick on the average. That makes a total of 40 meter shelf space I need. In my house I have a wall that is 5 meter long. If I can put 8 shelves against that wall it will be completely covered with books. So my whole life that I have in front of me only fills one single wall.
Maybe I should start selecting my books a bit more critical 😉