The Library at Night
26%
off

The Library at Night

3.98 (2,657 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

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.
show more

Out of ideas for the holidays?

Visit our Gift Guides and find our recommendations on what to get friends and family during the holiday season. Shop now .

Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 140 x 229 x 25mm | 499g
  • New Haven, CT, United States
  • English
  • 76 b-w illus.
  • 0300151306
  • 9780300151305
  • 56,724

Review quote

"The book contains fifteen essays that posit the library 'as myth,' 'as shape,' 'as island,' and the like. Manguel has assembled thumbnail biographies, entertaining anecdotes, close readings, and photographic documentation into a kind of commonplace book stitched together by his amiable prose. . . . The Library at Night . . . communicates the joy and the solace of being yourself a reader."-Brian Sholis, BookForum
"The Library at Night-a series of essays on what one might call the Platonic idea of a library-reveals some of its author's intellectual range and magpie learning. . . [It] is an elegant volume, in both its design and its text. . . . 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
"Alberto Manguel . . . the Argentine-born author and bibliophile celebrates books as brothers, as crucial companions for a lifetime."-Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune
"Manguel has assembled thumbnail biographies, entertaining anecdotes, close readings, and photographic documentation into a kind of commonplace book stitched together by his amiable prose. . . . The Library at Night . . . communicates the joy and the solace of being yourself a reader."-Brian Sholis, BookForum
"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
"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)
". . . 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
"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)
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
show more

About Alberto Manguel

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.
show more

Rating details

2,657 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 34% (913)
4 38% (1,010)
3 22% (572)
2 4% (115)
1 2% (47)

Our customer reviews

"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.show more
by Kezia Perry
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X