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A reader on reading
Alberto Manguel
Adult Nonfiction PN149.9.M36 A3 2010

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In this excellent collection of essays, Argentinean novelist and critic Manguel (The Library at Night) examines the act of reading and the enduring power of words. Beginning each essay with epigraphs from either Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking-Glass, Manguel is equally at ease with scholarly matters, such as the (im)possibility of defining gay literature, as with the personal, particularly his account of traveling between Paris and London as a young man. Manguel returns often to texts and authors who've most inspired him, particularly Don Quixote and fellow Argentinean Jorge Luis Borges, whom he knew personally. It is not only words that interest Manguel: he is also fascinated by punctuation and the physicality of the page itself. Though reading is often a solitary activity, Manguel reminds us of the community we join every time we open a book, be it something new or a treasured volume from our youth. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

If there are such things as a musician's musician and a writer's writer, one could argue that Manguel (The Library at Night) is a reader's reader. In this collection of 39 reformatted versions of previous publications and lectures, he continues his love affair with reading. Although books are central to Manguel's discussion, his understanding of reading is broad. Buildings, pictures, societies, and the lives of others, he explains, are also read. Politics, he states in "The Death of Che Guevara," may also be read, at times, as literature. Naturally, libraries appear in his conversation. A section titled "The Numinous Library" provides four essays, including the poemlike "Notes Toward a Definition of the Ideal Library." As can be expected, "Notes Toward a Definition of the Ideal Reader" is located elsewhere in the volume. Manguel also writes about his personal transition from reader to writer, Borges, gay literature, erotic literature, and numerous other topics. Verdict Those who enjoy more scholarly and thoughtful books on reading will surely be intrigued by this title. A great buy for all libraries.-Stacy Russo, Chapman Univ. Libs., Orange, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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