|Still Life (The Grey Fan) - Francis Cadell|
"Yet one fearful characteristic of the physical world tempers any optimism that a reader may feel in any ordered library: the constraints of space. It has always been my experience that, whatever groupings I choose for my books, the space in which I plan to lodge them necessarily reshapes my choice and, more important, in no time proves too small for them and forces me to change my arrangement. In a library, no empty shelf remains empty for long. Like Nature, libraries abhor a vacuum, and the problem of space is inherent in the very nature of any collection of books. This is the paradox presented by every general library: that if, to a lesser or greater extent, it intends to accumulate and preserve as comprehensive as possible a record of the world, then ultimately its task must be redundant, since it can only be satisfied when the library's borders coincide with those of the world itself."
--- Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night, p.66