Alberto Manguel traces the history of reading from the earliest examples of Egyptian heiroglyphics, dating back 6000 years, through to the present day. He argues that it is the demands and expectations of the reader, rather than the creative will of the writer, that is of primary importance in the evolution of literary forms and genres. From man's first use of the written word simply as a form of reference, to the emergence of the first holy or devotional texts, and on to the development of fictions, both poetic and novelistic, this work should amuse, challenge and enlighten.
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"To read is to fly; it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience, and the fruits of many inquiries. A life thus equipped might not be happier – might sometimes be less so, indeed, for to know more can be to feel more, and the ground note of history is a long cry of pain – but it is vastly richer . . .As is inevitable with so self-reflexive an enterprise, much has been written about books and reading. Little of it has been better than this wonderful account, 'A History of Reading', by Alberto Manguel, a judicious magpie of a literatus who has collected a trove of fascinations on the subject, and arranged them brilliantly . . . .almost every page bristles with interest"
A C GRAYLING'Financial Times'
"Wonderful stuff … A rich and savoury casserole of learning, Manguel’s 'A History of Reading' at first refreshes and soothes the jaded palate and ends with delicious titbits from the lives and works of great authors. "
VICTORIA NEUMARK ' Times Educational Supplement'
"What Alberto Manguel has given us is his personal response to books and reading in the form of an anthology comprising mythology, anecdote, theology, history and autobiography … in lucid and elegant prose … highly enjoyable. I finished 'A History of Reading' with a sense of gratitude to have shared this journey through time in the company of a mind so lively, knowledgeable and sympathetic. "
P D JAMES'Sunday Times'
"A charming, old-fashioned, up-to-date, belletristic tribute to the art of reading."
KARL MILLER 'Observer'
"Delightful, written in a lively and lucid prose."
ROGER SCRUTON 'The Times'
"A passionate book … highly entertaining."
MICHIKO KAKUTANI 'New York Times'
Manguel’s erudition is awe-inspiring"
D J ENRIGHT 'Times Literary Supplement'
"A delightfully wide-ranging, beguiling study of a small daily miracle."
PAUL BAILEY 'Daily Telegraph'
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Book Description Viking, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0002550067