Morry, I am glad to see that I got the right idea about your thoughts on Eco. However, I didn't mean to say that erudite stories and emotionally effective stories are mutually exclusive. I just meant that Eco's (or any author's) use of "Borges-ian tricks" (what you call "literary style exercises") does tend to eliminate things like effective characterization. (An extreme example would be, say, Robbe-Grillet's Jealousy.) Also, you might be very interested to read Nicholas Basbanes' Patience & Fortitude (at least the first chapter) which deals specifically with many monastic libraries and the relationship between spirituality and the physical artifacts known as books.