The Library at Nightby Alberto Manguel
Inspired by the process of creating a library for his fifteenth-century home near the Loire, in France, Alberto Manguel, the acclaimed writer on books and reading, has taken up the subject of libraries. “Libraries,” he says, “have always seemed to me pleasantly mad places, and for as long as I can remember I’ve been seduced by their
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A well crafted collection of essays illustrating the authors keen love and appreciation for the library in essence as much as in its being a collection of books. The Library here is conveyed as having an intrinsic value far beyond what it's shelves hold and that value is often a reflection on the people who stand in the shadows of the stacks or under their very weight. 'The Library at Night' is divided into small, easily accessed chapters each offering specifc insights into some often esoteric branch of what the library means to the author and to those whom the author clearly appreciates, from Aby Warburg's Cultural Library to the great lost Library at Alexandria we are treated to the library in a vein not often so well conveyed, namely the library as mythic space and indeed that is what it can be if allowed to achieve its fullest potential. This book offers a few ways this potential can be achieved and it does so in a well written, passionate and enjoyable manner. The only point of criticism I would offer is that the author tends to focus on certain individuals a bit too frequently, coming back to them again and again 'Louis Borges being one example' When other, more pertinent figures would fit the chapters overall context better. This however is a minor point and should in no way detract from the books worthiness to any student of the Libraray or the erstwhile bibliophile.