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The Library at Night Paperback – Oct 9 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada; First Thus edition (Oct. 9 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0676975895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0676975895
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.7 x 23 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Manguel does all facets of his subject proud in The Library at Night, celebrating a treasure we so often take for granted. . . . [H]e also creates a treasure of his own.”
The Gazette (Montreal)

“[Manguel’s] newest richly imagined and richly anecdotal work . . . [is] his most impassioned and profound case yet for why we should read and why books matter. Why libraries, with their inclusions and exclusions, their deep repositories of our memory and experience, are significant.”
Calgary Herald

Praise for Alberto Manguel:
“Manguel is a tireless champion of the written word. He cares about books . . . with a deep, unswerving passion because he believes they are – still, despite our electronic progress – essential links between the individual and the world.”
The Vancouver Sun

Praise for A Reading Diary:
• A Globe and Mail Best Book
• Finalist for the writers’ trust of canada drainie-taylor biography prize

“Alberto Manguel has probably read more widely than almost anyone else now alive. Among English speakers, perhaps only Harold Bloom, George Steiner and Guy Davenport may outclass him – and they are all twenty years his senior, and long-time university teachers, to boot: In short, Manguel’s approach to books remains resolutely that of an amateur, one who loves with the pure joy sometimes denied the more scholarly.”
–The Globe and Mail

A Reading Diary is an utterly seductive book, the kind of book that lovers will want to read aloud to one another, that friends will quote back and forth.”
Calgary Herald

“Manguel’s exquisitely distilled style and gentle humility are pure pleasure. His diary is a goldmine of the unexpected, and his companionable, deeply cultivated persona will entrance all those who love to read and to ponder.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

About the Author

Internationally acclaimed as an anthologist, translator, essayist, novelist and editor, Alberto Manguel is the author of several award-winning books, including A Dictionary of Imaginary Places and A History of Reading, which was an international bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, a Times Literary Supplement International Book of the Year, and winner of France’s Prix Medicis.

Alberto Manguel was born in Buenos Aires, moved to Canada in 1982 and now lives in France, where he was named an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Nov. 5 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have often said that next to the comforts of my bed are the books that make up my library. To this end, it helps that I have the shelving for many of my books right beside me as I settle down for a late night's read. Manguel's treatise on the hidden nature of libraries throughout the world affirms the point that libraries are the outward expression of an expanding personal search for the illusions of knowledge and truth. Why do we, the self-confessed bibliophiles that we are, buy books simply to read and then protectively place them on shelves to collect dust like trophies and, if we feel gratified, perhaps, guardedly loan one or two to friends as if they were a costly jewel? Manguel provides some intriguing and surprising answers to these and other puzzling questions in this study that poses more like a psychological thriller than a history of libraries. Great read for anyone who has a love affair with books.
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Format: Hardcover
The Library at Night is for anyone who has ever said "Yes, actually, I do need all of these books." Alberto Manguel has written an inspiring book about keeping books. He explores all aspects of libraries dropping little facts and bits of wisdom that he has gleaned over the years from collecting and living with printed material. He has so many books that when he lived in Toronto he was forced to shelve them on his front porch. His children complained that they felt the need of a library card in order to enter their home. There is plenty of information here regarding the history of libraries, great collections, famous library buildings, great librarians and certainly Manguel's own library. A charming and erudite writer, Manguel is no book snob. Detective fiction, poetry, history, fiction, non-fiction all have a place in his book room. One of my favourite chapters was about organizing libraries - do you organize them by language (Manguel reads in 5 or 6 languages)?, by country of origin?, alphabetically by author?, by category?, do you separate works by best friends because they don't write in the same category? These are weighty issues for anyone with more than a handful of books. I have a library and I have a lot of books, although not nearly as many as Manguel, so I was interested in his response to the ever popular question "Have you actually read all of these books?". His simple reply is "Well, I've certainly opened them all".
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 51 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Aug. 5 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal Mix July 6 2008
By John Beckham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The LIBRARY AT NIGHT is an ideal blend of contemplation and observation, of thought and history. With chapters that read like short stories it is accessible to the 'not enough time" as to the "google stupidized" reader. A great gift for any librarian, or reader of books. Books in history . . . back to the shelves. Leaves the reading feeling like he's just left a scene from The Ninth Gate.
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Romance of Reading July 20 2008
By John D. Cofield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alberto Manguel has produced a romantic history of libraries which incorporates their best feature: the ability to wander down hitherto unsuspected byways and make new discoveries, often winding up far from your original objective but still satisfied by what you have found instead. This is a discursive history of libraries through various categories: Myth, Order, etc. with fascinating essays for each. Those who love reading and libraries will learn much history and philosophy and will recognize in Manguel a kindred spirit and friend.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent May 19 2008
By Leclerc (Houston) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those who enjoy reading and perhaps a bibliophile or two, I found this book to be a very pleasant accounting of Manguel's love of books. It caused me to think about the reasons I appreciate books and enjoy those that are well written. Highly recommended.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michealangelo, Luther, Proust, Buddha, and your school librarian Nov. 27 2008
By N. A. Walther - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an opus....and a grand one at that.
This is a book that whets ones appetite for even more. Whether it is to re-read a classic in a different light, or read a book mentioned for the first time.