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 HarperCollins, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. A few small marks to page edges Good condition is defined as: a copy that has been read but remains in clean condition. All of the pages are intact and the cover is intact and the spine may show signs of wear. The book may have minor markings which are not specifically mentioned. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day. Bookseller Inventory # mon0006236015
Book Description HarperCollins, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used; Good. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. This book is in good condition but will show signs of previous ownership. Please expect some creasing to the spine and/or minor damage to the cover. Aged book. Please note this book is over 20 years old. It will therefore have tanned pages, age spots and plenty of shelf wear. However, for its age it is still very useable, and a great read. Bookseller Inventory # CHL1653760
Book Description Viking. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Appearance of only slight previous use. Cover and binding show a little wear. All pages are undamaged with potentially only a few, small markings. Bookseller Inventory # G0002550067I4N00
Book Description Hardback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR001188150
Book Description Hardback. Book Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Bookseller Inventory # GOR002098774
Book Description HarperCollins. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Bookseller Inventory # TT00627063B
Book Description HarperCollins, London, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. First printing of this edition. First printing of this 8vo paperback edition. Pp 372 with monochrome halftone illustrations throughout. A clean, unmarked copy in printed wrappers. Bookseller Inventory # 91936
Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Some minor wear. Bookseller Inventory # HBS-00227993-B
Book Description Harpercollins [Harper Collins Publisher], London, 1996. Softcover. Small Quarto Size [approx 17.5cm x 24cm]. Very Good condition. Light wear to edges and corners. Illustrated with Black & White Photographs and Drawings. 372 pages Manguel uses his personal history to write about the collective history of reading. Bookseller Inventory # 285993
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1996. Hard Cover. Book Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good to Fine. First Edition. first edtion, first printing with full number count. Bookseller Inventory # 001830