A History of Reading

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9780143126713: A History of Reading

At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book--that string of confused, alien ciphers--shivered into meaning, and at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader. Noted essayist and editor Alberto Manguel moves from this essential moment to explore the six-thousand-year-old conversation between words and that hero without whom the book would be a lifeless object: the reader. Manguel brilliantly covers reading as seduction, as rebellion, and as obsession and goes on to trace the quirky and fascinating history of the reader's progress from clay tablet to scroll, codex to CD-ROM.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Product Description:

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.

Review:

Praise for" A History of Reading: "
"Ingenious...a veritable museum of literacy. One feels envious of his passion...through it, his gift becomes our own."--"The New York Times Book Review"
"Manguel has taken on the daunting subject of our own passion for books and succeeded in turning it into a passionate book of his own."--Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"
"No one who follows Manguel's narrative to its conclusion need ever again feel guilty about putting off errands, chores, the bills, the kids, sleep--whatever--and curling up with a good, or even a great, book."--"Newsweek"
"Manguel is a generous companion...he remains, in the proper sense of the word, an 'amateur, ' a lover rather than a specialist."--George Steiner, "the New Yorker"
"Richly detailed and utterly fascinating...what lifts "A History of Reading" above mere charm and idiosyncrasy is Manguel's reader's soul. A few hours passed with [his] book will remind anyone who needs reminding that an astonishing bond exists between word and world."--Sven Birkerts, "Boston Magazine"
"A highly entertaining overview that leaves us with both a new appreciation of our own bibliomania and a deeper understanding of the role that the written word has played throughout history."--"The New York Times"
"""Manguel's digressions are delightful, his anecdotes appealing, and his stories scintillating. What might have been no more than one dammed thing after another turns out to be, at the handsof this splendid raconteur, one divine thing after another....It is all utterly beguiling."--"The Boston Sunday Globe"
"Impressionistic, engrossing."--"Time"
"An entertaining, provocative, and informative book."--"The Washington Post"
"Tickles, surprises, and amuses."--"The Philadelphia Inquirer"
"Impressive, engaging."--"The Washington Times"
"Erudite and original."--"The Miami Herald"
"Enormously entertaining."--"San Francisco Chronicle"
"A wonderful merger of scholarship and personal essay....Manguel writes so beautifully and felicitously that he infects us with enthusiasm again and again."--Philip Lopate
"Manguel's urbane, unpretentious tone recalls that of a friend eager to share his knowledge and enthusiasm. His book, digressive, witty, surprising, is a pleasure."--"Kirkus"
"Highly enjoyable....I finished the book 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
"An eclectic and deeply felt history of reading. It is a history illuminated by an acute sensibility....An unfailingly engaging work."--"School Library Journal"
"Unique, enlightening, and as captivating as a celebration of reading should be."--"Booklist"
"Interesting, intriguing, and entertaining."--"Library Journal"
"Erudition and memoir are beautifully wed in this stimulating and provocative book."--"Virginia Quarterly Review"
Praise for" A History of Reading: "
"Ingenious...a veritable museum of literacy. One feels envious of his passion...through it, his gift becomes our own."--"The New York Times Book Review"
"Manguel has taken on the daunting subject of our own passion for books and succeeded in turning it into a passionate book of his own."--Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"
"No one who follows Manguel's narrative to its conclusion need ever again feel guilty about putting off errands, chores, the bills, the kids, sleep--whatever--and curling up with a good, or even a great, book."--"Newsweek"
"Manguel is a generous companion...he remains, in the proper sense of the word, an 'amateur, ' a lover rather than a specialist."--George Steiner, "the New Yorker"
"Richly detailed and utterly fascinating...what lifts "A History of Reading" above mere charm and idiosyncrasy is Manguel's reader's soul. A few hours passed with [his] book will remind anyone who needs reminding that an astonishing bond exists between word and world."--Sven Birkerts, "Boston Magazine"
"A highly entertaining overview that leaves us with both a new appreciation of our own bibliomania and a deeper understanding of the role that the written word has played throughout history."--"The New York Times"
"""Manguel's digressions are delightful, his anecdotes appealing, and his stories scintillating. What might have been no more than one dammed thing after another turns out to be, at the handsof this splendid raconteur, one divine thing after another....It is all utterly beguiling."--"The Boston Sunday Globe"
"Impressionistic, engrossing."--"Time"
"An entertaining, provocative, and informative book."--"The Washington Post"
"Tickles, surprises, and amuses."--"The Philadelphia Inquirer"
"Impressive, engaging."--"The Washington Times"
"Erudite and original."--"The Miami Herald"
"Enormously entertaining."--"San Francisco Chronicle"
"A wonderful merger of scholarship and personal essay....Manguel writes so beautifully and felicitously that he infects us with enthusiasm again and again."--Philip Lopate
"Manguel's urbane, unpretentious tone recalls that of a friend eager to share his knowledge and enthusiasm. His book, digressive, witty, surprising, is a pleasure."--"Kirkus"
"Highly enjoyable....I finished the book 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
"An eclectic and deeply felt history of reading. It is a history illuminated by an acute sensibility....An unfailingly engaging work."--"School Library Journal"
"Unique, enlightening, and as captivating as a celebration of reading should be."--"Booklist"
"Interesting, intriguing, and entertaining."--"Library Journal"
"Erudition and memoir are beautifully wed in this stimulating and provocative book."--"Virginia Quarterly Review"

Praise for A History of Reading:
Ingenious a veritable museum of literacy. One feels envious of his passion through it, his gift becomes our own. The New York Times Book Review
Manguel has taken on the daunting subject of our own passion for books and succeeded in turning it into a passionate book of his own. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
No one who follows Manguel s narrative to its conclusion need ever again feel guilty about putting off errands, chores, the bills, the kids, sleep whatever and curling up with a good, or even a great, book. Newsweek
Manguel is a generous companion he remains, in the proper sense of the word, an amateur, a lover rather than a specialist. George Steiner, the New Yorker
Richly detailed and utterly fascinating what lifts A History of Reading above mere charm and idiosyncrasy is Manguel s reader s soul. A few hours passed with [his] book will remind anyone who needs reminding that an astonishing bond exists between word and world. Sven Birkerts, Boston Magazine
A highly entertaining overview that leaves us with both a new appreciation of our own bibliomania and a deeper understanding of the role that the written word has played throughout history. The New York Times
Manguel s digressions are delightful, his anecdotes appealing, and his stories scintillating. What might have been no more than one dammed thing after another turns out to be, at the handsof this splendid raconteur, one divine thing after another .It is all utterly beguiling. The Boston Sunday Globe
Impressionistic, engrossing. Time
An entertaining, provocative, and informative book. The Washington Post
Tickles, surprises, and amuses. The Philadelphia Inquirer
Impressive, engaging. The Washington Times
Erudite and original. The Miami Herald
Enormously entertaining. San Francisco Chronicle
A wonderful merger of scholarship and personal essay .Manguel writes so beautifully and felicitously that he infects us with enthusiasm again and again. Philip Lopate
Manguel s urbane, unpretentious tone recalls that of a friend eager to share his knowledge and enthusiasm. His book, digressive, witty, surprising, is a pleasure. Kirkus
Highly enjoyable .I finished the book 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
An eclectic and deeply felt history of reading. It is a history illuminated by an acute sensibility .An unfailingly engaging work. School Library Journal
Unique, enlightening, and as captivating as a celebration of reading should be. Booklist
Interesting, intriguing, and entertaining. Library Journal
Erudition and memoir are beautifully wed in this stimulating and provocative book. Virginia Quarterly Review"

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