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A book about libraries and reading is a bit of an easy mark, but this one was done well. The prose is lucid and familiar, the subject is broad across time and place, and the curious facts and incidental stories are frequent. My kind of book. In my fool hardy youth, when my friends were dreaming of heroic deeds in the realms of engineering and law, finance and national politics, I dreamt of becoming a librarian.
I did not, but have always The Library at Night. Alberto Manguel. Inspired by the process of creating a library for his fifteenth-century home near the Loire, in France, Alberto Manguel, the acclaimed writer on books and reading, has taken up the subject of libraries.
Manguel, a guide of irrepressible enthusiasm, conducts a unique library tour that extends from his childhood bookshelves to the "complete" libraries of the Internet, from Ancient Egypt and Greece to the Arab world, from China and Rome to Google. He ponders the doomed library of Alexandria as well as the personal libraries of Charles Dickens, Jorge Luis Borges, and others. He recounts stories of people who have struggled against tyranny to preserve freedom of thought--the Polish librarian who smuggled books to safety as the Nazis began their destruction of Jewish libraries; the Afghani bookseller who kept his store open through decades of unrest.
Oral "memory libraries" kept alive by prisoners, libraries of banned books, the imaginary library of Count Dracula, the library of books never written--Manguel illuminates the mysteries of libraries as no other writer could. With scores of wonderful images throughout, "The Library at Night "is a fascinating voyage through Manguel's mind, memory, and vast knowledge of books and civilizations.
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S wift imagined books battling. In a library described in one of his satires, the volumes do not remain on the shelves but hurl themselves across the room in an exchange of insults and fisticuffs, enacting their disagreements by tearing one another's pages out. What happens, however, when the lights go out? Those belligerent books probably settle down to make love and breed other books. Writers write because they are compulsive readers and they do so in book-lined rooms.
The Library at Night
Alberto Manguel is an author, book collector and world traveler who in his youth "dreamt of becoming a librarian" p. In The Library at Night, he offers a subjective account of the subjective history of libraries — real, imaginary, hypothetical, and mythical. The book is organized by themes and, it is suggested, compiled from the books on the shelves of Manguel's personal library. The library and the author's nighttime musings within its walls, is a starting point for his discussion. Much of the book focuses on the shape, construction, and organization of libraries. But Manguel explodes the dimensions of the physical library, offering fifteen ways of looking at a library in fifteen separate chapters.
The romantic librarian
Learn more about the actions Yale University Press is taking. A celebration of reading, of libraries, and of the mysterious human desire to give order to the universe Inspired by the process of creating a library for his fifteenth-century home near the Loire, in France, Alberto Manguel, the acclaimed writer on books and reading, has taken up the subject of libraries. He ponders the doomed library of Alexandria as well as the personal libraries of Charles Dickens, Jorge Luis Borges, and others. He recounts stories of people who have struggled against tyranny to preserve freedom of thought—the Polish librarian who smuggled books to safety as the Nazis began their destruction of Jewish libraries; the Afghani bookseller who kept his store open through decades of unrest. Alberto Manguel is an internationally acclaimed anthologist, translator, essayist, novelist, and editor, and the author of several award-winning books, including A Dictionary of Imaginary Places and A History of Reading. There's rarely any turnover. Borges, Calvino, Benjamin and Zweig plus a few other steadfast patrons.
Amazon wishlist. The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel. Our Assessment: B : enjoyable variations on a theme. Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review 's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole.