The Library at Night (Paperback)
  • The Library at Night (Paperback)
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The Library at Night (Paperback)

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£12.99
Paperback 400 Pages / Published: 17/04/2009
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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. "Libraries," he says, "have always seemed to me pleasantly mad places, and for as long as I can remember I've been seduced by their labyrinthine logic." In this personal, deliberately unsystematic, and wide-ranging book, he offers a captivating meditation on the meaning 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.

Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300151305
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 506 g
Dimensions: 230 x 150 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Alberto Manguel has brought out a richly enjoyable book, absolutely enthralling for anyone who loves to read and an inspiration for anybody who has ever dreamed of building a library of his or her own."-Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World


"A remarkable book-remarkable above all for its openness to the possibilities that books hold out, and for the passion with which it tries to instill the same attitude in its readers."-John Gross, New York Review of Books



"Crowded with memorable tales of reading as rescue, as solace, as liberation, in times of want, fear or tyranny. . . . The Library at Night revels in the physical pleasure of drifting and dipping through the Gutenberg galaxy of ink-on-paper books."-Boyd Tonkin interview with Alberto Manguel, The Independent

"Books jump out of their jackets when Manguel opens them and dance in delight as they make contact with his ingenious, voluminous brain. He is not the keeper of a silent cemetery, but a master of bibliographical revels."-Peter Conrad, The Observer

"Books jump out of their jackets when Manguel opens them and dance in delight as they make contact with his ingenious, voluminous brain. He is not the keeper of a silent cemetery, but a master of bibliographical revels."-Peter Conrad, The Observer

"Full of [Manguel's] passion for books."- The Bookseller




"Manguel not only writes beautifully, he is a master of the art of reading. In this wide-ranging, single-minded collection, he empowers fellow book lovers...He tempts you to explore new avenues and sends you hurrying back to old favourites."-Maggie Ferguson, Intelligent Life (The Economist)

"Manguel not only writes beautifully, he is a master of the art of reading. In this wide-ranging, single-minded collection, he empowers fellow book lovers. . . . He tempts you to explore new avenues and sends you hurrying back to old favourites."-Maggie Ferguson, Intelligent Life(The Economist)

Bronze medal winner of the 2008 Book of the Year Award in the category of Architecture, presented by ForeWord magazine


"In my personal library of imaginary places, and more specifically on the bookcases near my desk, I maintain a shelf reserved for brilliant readers. There's rarely any turnover. Borges, Calvino, Benjamin and Zweig (plus a few other steadfast patrons). With Manguel's The Library at Night, that will clearly have to change."-Allen Kurzweil, author of The Grand Complication and A Case of Curiosities




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