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Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions

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 Frances Loire Valley and reestablish himself in a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattans Upper West Side. Packing up his enormous, 35,000volume 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. Manguels 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 Alexandrias 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....

Title : Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions
Author :
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ISBN : 9780300219333
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 160 pages
Url Type : Home » Packing » Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions
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Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions Reviews

  • Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

    Another nonfiction title. A beautiful and slender but dense and enormously digressive volume about our relationships with libraries, books, and the world of the storytelling imagination in general, as seen through the eyes of someone who made a decision to move to another country and in order to do so had to pack up his vast, decades-long library of 35,000 books and put most of it in storage. Subtitled AN ELEGY AND TEN DIGRESSIONS, it should really be called TEN DIGRESSIONS AND AN ELEGY, as the ...more

  • Tim Smith

    Packing My Library is at many times one of the more diverting essay collections on reading that I have recently read. I was a bit disappointed, as it appeared to discuss Manguel's move from France to NY, that he wrote about his packing his 35,000 volume collection of books without answering many practical questions. We don't learn much about what books are in the collection. We also don't learn why his books must stay in storage. His move to NY is hinted at, not really discussed. It is not reall ...more

  • Danny Daley

    Manguel is an author, but is far better known as a reader. Manguel had a library at his home in France of some 35,000 books, but when he was forced out of France, and chose to settle in Manhattan, he simply could not afford a space to keep his library in tact. He packaged many books to store, but also had to part with a large number of them. This little book features insights and digressions centered around the act of packing and tearing apart this cherished library. As an avid reader and collec ...more

  • Lyubina Yordanova

    I love reading books about books!

    "Packing My Library" tells a story of the library of one of the most incredible readers and bibliophiles of our time Alberto Manguel, who is now the director of the National Library of Argentina. Packing up his enormous, 35,000-volume personal library, Manguel meditates on memory, language, maniacality, the act of reading, the importance of the public libraries, sharing interesting facts about books, writers and historic book events at the same time.

    Impressing th
    ...more

  • James

    Alberto Manguel needed to move from France where he housed a 35,000-volume personal library to a one-bedroom apartment in New York City. As he processes and purges, he reflects on the nature and importance of reading, libraries, and literature. A beautifully written and thoughtful book that will make librarians and readers cheer. Highly recommended.

  • Bettie☯



    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09y...

    Description: Alberto Manguel has had consistent 5-star ratings for his books on reading, books and libraries. With regret, he packs up his library of 35,000 volumes and prepares to move from a vast property in rural France to a small apartment on Manhattan's West Side.

    Choosing which books to keep, store, or cast out, Manguel finds himself in deep reverie on the nature of relationships between books and readers, books and collectors, order and disorder, mem

    We should be grateful that we do not know what was destroyed in the fire at Alexandria, because we would be inconsolable"


    Numinous is an English adjective, derived in the 17th century from the Latin numen, that is (especially in ancient Roman religion) a "deity or spirit presiding over a thing or space". Meaning "denoting or relating to a numen", it describes the power or presence or realisation of a divinity.

    WL The Library at Night

    MB Stevenson Under the Palm Trees

    4 Packing My Library ...more

  • Hugo

    "Por volta de 1931, Walter Benjamin escreveu um ensaio breve e hoje famoso acerca da relação entre os leitores e os seus livros. Chamou-lhe Desembalar a Minha Biblioteca: um discurso acerca da arte de coleccionar e aproveitou a ocasião de retirar de caixotes os seus quase dois mil livros para discorrer sobre os privilégios e as responsabilidades de um leitor. Benjamin mudou-se da casa que partilhava com a mulher, antes do seu divórcio acrimonioso no ano anterior, para um apartamento pequeno e mo ...more

  • Alan

    Alberto Manguel has written more books about books and reading and libraries than anyone else that I have ever read. Some of my favourites have been A History Of Reading and Homer's the Iliad and the Odyssey: A Biography (both pre-GR reading but due for rereads soon I think). His newest "Packing My Library" is structured around the act of having his 35,000 volume library in France being packed up for storage when he was set to move to the US and then instead became diverted to become the Directo ...more