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Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions

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 Frances Loire Valley and reestablish himself in a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattans Upper West Side. Packing up his enormous, 35,000volume 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. Manguels 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 Alexandrias 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....

Title : Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions
Author :
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ISBN : 9780300219333
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 160 pages
Url Type : Home » Packing » Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions

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Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions Reviews

  • Tony Milani

    Should be mandatory reading for those with an affinity for physical books, libraries, and the personal journeys that go along with them.

  • Georgia

    It's been a long time since I have read a series of essay's so beautifully indulgent and organic. As the reader I felt I was slipping into Manguel's own library, browsing old leather bound volumes from Kafka to Shelley. His writing is thoughtful and intuitive and it has certainly made me look different at my own library (and by library I mean a few bookshelves - but we can dream can't we?). After reading this collection I had that moment where I thought - I must read everything this man has writ ...more

  • Laura

    Loc 85:

    Borges observed in an early essay that a translation can be understood as equivalent to a draft, and that the only difference between a translation and an early version of a text is merely chronological, not hierarchical: where the draft precedes the original, the translation follows it.

    Loc 158-159

    "Books delight one in depth, run through our veins, advise us and bind us in a kind of active and keen familiarity; and an individual book does not insinuate itself alone into our spirit, but le
    ...more

  • Diane Barnes

    A brilliant set of essays on the importance of books, reading, and libraries.

    "It is true that, confronted with the blind imbecility with which we try to destroy our planet, the relentlessness with which we inflict pain on ourselves and others, the extent of our greed and cowardice and envy, the arrogance with which we strut among our fellow living creatures, it is hard to believe that writing—literature or any other art, for that matter—teaches us anything. If after reading lines such as Larkin’
    ...more

  • Nicole Beaudry

    Cher M. Manguel,

    I think I might be in love with you. It's possible that that's an exaggeration, but if it is, it's only slight. You've captured, perfectly, the aboutness of reading, of being a reader, and of being an owner of books. I, too, am a many-book-owning librarian, and I know that that's a funny thing. But in this, a love letting to owning books, to picking up a sheaf of well-thumbed, bound pages, and finding not only a familiar story but a familiar time, place, drop of orange juice from
    ...more

  • Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

    Another nonfiction title. A beautiful and slender but dense and enormously digressive volume about our relationships with libraries, books, and the world of the storytelling imagination in general, as seen through the eyes of someone who made a decision to move to another country and in order to do so had to pack up his vast, decades-long library of 35,000 books and put most of it in storage. Subtitled AN ELEGY AND TEN DIGRESSIONS, it should really be called TEN DIGRESSIONS AND AN ELEGY, as the ...more

  • Beverly Hollandbeck

    As he is packing his library of 35,000 books, the author muses on his history with books, with digressions to consider the philosophy of creating, the inadequacy of the written word to express reality (and this from a man who speaks and writes in several languages!), the nature of reality, and other ideas. Deep thoughts.