It’s about what you have displayed on your bookshelf.
A recent and informal survey has shown that music listeners actually only listen to a small percentage of their music collection. VLDCMCaR (pronounced vldcmcar) can help with that.
I don’t have a hard time believing this to be the case. Back in the US, I have waiting for me a wide and varied collection of about 1,000 music CDs. Most of these are contemporary music, with a lot of experimental and electronic. Of all these, I would say there is less than 50 I would listen to regularly, ten of which are the proverbial take-to-a-desert-island. All the others I think of references; but I feel still compelled to burn them all onto my digital music listening device (which I swear gets heavier the more data I have loaded on it). I know it is an irrational compulsion; but I have always been inclined to collect (to the annoyance of my wife. BTW, yesterday I found on the street a deed to a car signed 1922 in Copenhagen).
For most of the CDs I own, I can recall a specific experience that makes the piece on it special. For instance, when listening the first time to Stockhausen’s Mantra, I wasn’t digging it. Twenty minutes later I was blown away by his use of repetition in making clear a delicate phrasing that I so wanted to replicate in my own work. I was a Stockhausen convert. Then I saw the CD player had been repeating the first 1-minute track. Seventeen years later, that first minute sticks with me today, and is one of my favorites. Along with the first 8 seconds of Brahms 1st symphony. And then there is that 10 seconds in Bruckner’s 9th; and those few seconds in Mahler’s 3rd that sounds exactly like Star Trek. Maybe I should create a compilation, like The Greatest Hits of the Second Viennese School.