How can you excuse the man who buys bookcases of expensive wood, and piling into them the works of unknown, worthless authors, goes yawning amongst his thousands of volumes? He knows their titles, their bindings, but nothing else. It is in the homes of the idlest men that you find the biggest libraries — range upon range of books, ceiling high. For nowadays a library is one of the essential fittings of a home, like a bathroom. You could forgive this if it were all due to a zeal for learning. But these libraries of the works of piety and genius are collected for mere show, to ornament the walls of the house.
Seneca, quoted in The Origins of the English Library
Song: “The Pretender” by Dr. Dog