The Library at Night (Paperback)
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DescriptionInspired 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.
- Published: 28 April 2009
- Format: Paperback 384 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780300151305 ISBN 10: 0300151306
- Sales rank: 52,737
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Reviews for The Library at Night
- Top review
For the Love of Libraries
"The love of libraries, like most loves, must be learned"
The Library At Night is non-fiction and is a critical text and personal memoir combined by Manguel to discuss famous, historical and wonderful libraries such as the Library at Alexander of which there is no description because the scholars had such hubris, they thought it irrelevant to write one.
For someone like me, who loves the library more than any other place on earth, this book is like magic. In it, Manguel moves through chapters discussing libraries and studies as places of euthymia, A Greek word which Seneca explained means "well-being of the soul"... ( p188) The chapters are imaginative and offer opinions and learning on "The Library as Myth", "The Library as Identity", "The Library as Home", "The Library as Chance".... It's a perfervid book. by Kezia Perry