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Alberto Manguel: Packing My Library. An Elegy and Ten Digressions

A wonderfully digressive little volume about our complex relationship with our books and being an incurable bibliophile. The perfect antidote to Walter Benjamin’s classic essay, Unpacking My Library.

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.

Title: Packing My Library
Subtitle: An Elegy and Ten Digressions
Author: Alberto Manguel
Publisher: Yale University Press
Title First Published: 20 March 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-10 0300219334
ISBN-13 9780300219333
Nb of pages 160 p.
Hardcover – $23.00

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