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Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions

by Alberto Manguel Yale University Press
Pub Date:
06/2019
ISBN:
9780300244526
Format:
Pbk 160 pages
Price:
AU$25.99 NZ$26.08
Product Status: In Stock Now
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A best-selling author and world-renowned bibliophile meditates on his vast personal library and champions the vital role of all libraries.


 


In June 2015 Alberto Manguel prepared to leave his centuries-old village home in France’s Loire Valley and reestablish himself in a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Packing up his enormous, 35,000-volume personal library, choosing which books to keep, store, or cast out, Manguel found himself in deep reverie on the nature of relationships between books and readers, books and collectors, order and disorder, memory and reading. In this poignant and personal reevaluation of his life as a reader, the author illuminates the highly personal art of reading and affirms the vital role of public libraries.


 


Manguel’s musings range widely, from delightful reflections on the idiosyncrasies of book lovers to deeper analyses of historic and catastrophic book events, including the burning of ancient Alexandria’s library and contemporary library lootings at the hands of ISIS. With insight and passion, the author underscores the universal centrality of books and their unique importance to a democratic, civilized, and engaged society.
‘Alberto Manguel is a kind of global Reader Laureate: he is reading’s champion, its keenest student and the most zealous proselytizer.’ – Daniel Hahn, Spectator
‘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, Observer
‘The area which Alberto Manguel has mapped for himself is that of the eros of reading … He is a Don Juan of libraries.’ – George Steiner, Guardian
Alberto Manguel is a writer, translator, editor and critic, but would rather define himself as a reader and a lover of books. From 2015 to 2018 he was the director of the National Library of Argentina. Born in Buenos Aires, he has since resided in Israel, Argentina, Europe, the South Pacific and Canada.