I really can't emphasise how fantastic Jorge Luis Borges' stories are. Everyone with even the mildest creative streak should at least own a copy of Labyrinths.

Many of his stories are referenced as design analogies. On Exactitude in Science (where Broges follows the latin tradition started with Cervantes of denying authorship) is probably the most heavily used, often being compared to Marshall McLuhan's theories and it, itself has gone on to inspire many pieces of fiction; Michel Houellebecq's forthcoming novel - La Carte et le territoire - pays direct homage to it.
In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast Map was Useless...

My favourite has to be The Library of Babel which describes an infinite library containing all possible books in every possible language in all possible editions ever published. Later, William Goldbloom Bloch wrote The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel - an equally impressive read calculating some of the numeric and spatial properties of the library described by Borges. The story raises so many questions - if misprints of a certain volume are counted as an individual volume, what would a misprint of the misprint be? A new volume? And how long before the misprints became the original or were misprinted as to be identical to other volumes?

And what of the library catalogue? Dante's paradox was that any work created to circumscribe and encompass the works and lives of humanity would necessarily become part of it and so never be able to fully describe it's subject. Any system created to describe another system becomes part of that system. Any catalogue of the library would have to be counted as one of the volumes and thus catalogued itself.