When you have more than what you need,
build a longer table,
not a higher fence.
I've seen the quote attributed to "David Wolfe," but I don't know if that is correct or not.
I kept about 250 volumes. The books sat on the floor behind me in my study, piled where my girlfriend and I had spent two afternoons writing “Emily Rachman” in the front of each, to ensure that they never just dissolve into my collection. Months passed before I could alphabetize hers among mine. My study remained impassable with Emily’s books. I devoted myself exclusively to reading as many as I could — an imagined dialogue, as happens whenever books are borrowed, one reader hearing the perceptions of who preceded. [...] When I left her apartment, the built-in bookshelves were empty but for the dust. What, I wonder, have the new owners placed there? Books? Something else altogether? They’ll never know the jubilation those shelves once brought to a young woman.