I absolutely LOVE this post from Roger Pearse.
He closes with:
“Let us praise those selfless souls who refrained nobly from copying long and boring texts, and who generously gave of their libraries to the flames, so we would be spared wading through it!”
I know this is tongue-in-cheek – Roger knows better than I that nobody ran around burning books. Not on a large scale anyway. This goes back to my Mythbusters as to why ancient works failed to survive – nobody wanted ’em.
As a Greek classicist (with a fair amount of knowledge of ancient Rome) once said on a Library Thing discussion board, a bit less eloquently than Roger (paraphrasing), “You know why those books didn’t survive? Because they were crap.” *
* I’d cite this properly but then I’d have to wade through hundreds – maybe thousands of discussion board posts to find the exact quote and link. If he runs across this, hopefully the author (cough)Tim Spalding(/cough) will forgive my transgression.