The cost of reading every book: We know their names. — this article by slacktivist is about the founding of the Library of Congress and the origins of the books that helped begin that library and the all too real cost in human lives paid for those books.
From the article itself:
Elsewhere, I’ve seen it said that the last people who might have read everything were probably Thomas Jefferson (d. 1826) and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (d. 1832). Whether that’s true of either I don’t know, but Jefferson certainly tried. Jefferson’s problem was that Virginia did not have a library that held every English book, so to read them all, he had to buy them all. That was expensive. It took more money than Jefferson had, so the acquisition of his vast personal library put him deep into debt.
That debt was part of the reason, or the excuse, Jefferson gave for never being able to afford the emancipation of his slaves — something he always said he wanted to do, yet somehow never quite got around to doing.