Life was a brief dash for survival, and it pitted everything against you.
Countless wizards and witches, –and even more muggles- died without a name in the world.
They died, -fortunately-, with no one knowing any knowledge of their even existing, save for their few, close companions.
Riddle vowed he would make himself known, whatever the cost.
He would not die in an unmarked grave with his father's name the last words he screamed as he lay dying. In fact, he did not intend to die at all.
Riddle spent years at Hogwarts collecting more than just the average curriculum books. He gathered vast amounts, storing them all in a special trunk he cherished. He hexed anyone who was rash enough to even touch his belongings, many of which were volumes of immortals or how to gain eternal life.
Once,-at the orphanage he had come to hate-, a girl swiped one of his precious books. Swiftly, he found where she stashed it and, apologizing, the girl brought the situation to the matron. Riddle forgave the girl, and wished to show her something in private.
She never spoke again, and a hollow, detached…dead look replaced where the soul once was in her eyes.
He was greedy of course, but that didn't bother him nearly as much as if anyone else was greedy. Riddle made a point that no one was to touch his belongings.
Greed was not an option.