Packing My Library

An Elegy and Ten Digressions

Alberto Manguel

View Inside Price: $23.00


March 20, 2018
160 pages, 5 x 7 3/4
ISBN: 9780300219333
Hardcover

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 writer, translator, editor, and critic, but would rather define himself as a reader and a lover of books. Born in Buenos Aires, he has since resided in Israel, Argentina, Europe, the South Pacific, and Canada. He is now the director of the National Library of Argentina.

Alberto Manguel is a great reader. His entire oeuvre testifies to this. In Packing My Library, Manguel continues his celebration of the book as object, conduit, and talisman.  This elegy for his library, including digressions on citizenship, dictionaries, god’s speech, and creativity, shows a profound appreciation for the shibboleths and affinities of the bibliophile. A joyful testament!—Jeff Deutsch, Seminary Co-op

"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, The Guardian

"Manguel vaults over the traditional fences of genre, literary history, and discipline with breathtaking virtuosity. He is the Montaigne de nos jours and, as regards this latest effort, if they put another rover on Mars they should call it 'Manguel.'"—John Sutherland, University College London

"Alberto Manguel is a wanderer among books, immensely curious in such an intriguing way that he lets his readers easily discover the fruits of his curiosity."—Roberto Calasso

“Reading Mr. Manguel is like taking a city walk or an unhurried meal with an erudite, cosmopolitan friend. . . . Few cultures or historical periods are closed to him. He hops knowledgeably and divertingly from topic to topic. Yet he never strays far from his true interest, reading itself.”—The Economist

“The author brings a fresh hopefulness to the enterprise of books and reading. Vintage Manguel—a pleasure for his many readers and admirers.”—Kirkus Reviews
Melancholy

László F.

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Curiosity

Alberto Manguel

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Please Talk to Me
Selected Stories

Liliana Heker; Translated by Alberto Manguel and Miranda Fr

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