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  1. Apr 2016
    1. Eco’s collection is more focused than Carriere’s. It is a “collection dedicated to the occult and mistaken sciences.” It contains works, for example, by the misinformed astronomer Ptolemy but not by the rightly informed astronomer Galileo. “I am fascinated by error, by bad faith and idiocy,” Eco tells us. He loves the man who wrote a book about the dangers of toothpicks, and another author who produced a volume “about the value of being beaten with a stick, providing a list of famous artists and writers who had benefitted from this practice, from Boileau to Voltaire to Mozart.” He adores the hygienist who recommended, in his treatise, the practice of walking backwards. Eco does not tell us how many of these books he actually owns, or how much he would pay for a first edition in mint condition.