I was introduced to Eco when I was at art college, and 'had to' read Travels in Hyperreality. He's one of 3 authors (Eco, Calvino and Borges) whose love of labyrinths, lists and libraries has always excited and inspired me. I also love how they effortlessly write both fiction and, social and philosophical commentary.
These two books are visual treats, rich in illustrations, art and wonder.
Here's a few samples from The Infinity of Lists
Here's a few samples from The Book of Imaginary Lands