Oh. My. What can I say about the non-fictional book by Alberto Manguel, entitled The Library at Night. For me it was an extremely mesmerizing and enthralling book.
I love books, I love books stores, I love libraries, and I love touring libraries. The Library at Night gives the reader full access, detailed tours, and illuminating depictions of libraries from the beginning of time.
From tablet writings, writings on skins, caves, etc., libraries have existed in one fashion or another. From palatial libraries, to libraries that have become non-existent through wars, Nazi burnings, and other forms of intentional damage, Manguel has woven a story that kept this reader at attention. I loved all of the word imagery, loved the photographs, and enjoyed reading about the various library forms. By forms I mean not only amazing architectural structure of libraries, but I also mean the semblance or organization of personal libraries, as well as libraries around the world.
Ancient Egypt held libraries that have diminished due to ravages, Alexandria’s great library no longer exists, and from France to Rome, China, Japan and countries worldwide, Manguel’s vision fills the pages with vivid prose.
Libraries exist in memories of one’s mind, handed down from generation to generation. Libraries are a part of the universal foundation of reading. Celebrity libraries, libraries of the authors and poets existed for literary reasons, and often had no sense of rhyme or reason. But, for the owner, their library was a personal matter.
Alberto Manguel has written a book of historical importance, as far as the interpretation of the library world is concerned. The Library at Night is a book of significance to those of us who cherish books, who have cultivated and amassed our own book collection, and formed some sense of a personal library. What is a library to one, may not be considered a library by another. Realistically, that is not necessarily true. We define our own library, from our own tastes and passions.
What started out as the author creating and planning his own library, turned into a book of wonder and awe, regarding libraries. What a concept! I love this book! It now resides on my primary, personal library shelf.
I highly recommend The Library at Night, by Alberto Manguel.