|Digital List Price:||$23.00|
|Print List Price:||$15.00|
Save $11.01 (73%)
Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"The author brings a fresh hopefulness to the enterprise of books and reading. Vintage Manguel--a pleasure for his many readers and admirers."-- "Kirkus Reviews" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
About the Author
James Cameron Stewart is a veteran actor whose performances include roles in theater, film, and television. He was trained at Hull University and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. His credits include Outlander, Jericho, Flying Blind, Golden Years, Emmerdale, London's Burning, Eastenders, Coronation Street, and Holby City.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B07B6QNFK9
- Publisher : Yale University Press (March 20, 2018)
- Publication date : March 20, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 962 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 155 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #972,245 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Almost immediately, however, he cautions that much as people might care about their books, both people and books are indentured to impermeable limits. The principal limit, he says is the words themselves. He contends that as human tools, they are inadequate to grasp “meaning,” the endlessly illusive creature that “lies precisely beyond the pale of words, just on the other side of language.”
This fuels the frustrating tension between devotion to books and learning and the frailties of the medium evident among the twenty-one essays of Packing My Library. He writes admiringly of dictionaries, those arsenals of the words that while oh-so-close, are never quite up to their mission. To illustrate his point, he notes the retelling of dreams where the words can never fully capture the look, feel or implications of the dream itself.
Still, Manguel celebrates the genius of authors and they’re good-faith work, praising it because it “preserves something which otherwise would die away with the flesh and bones of the writer.” Manguel, the Director of the National Library of Argentina, clearly glories in books and libraries no matter how imperfectly suited to inspire, excite, improve, raise doubt or unravel and reveal the answers to timeless questions.
Near the end of this quite fine book, he notes an inscription found twenty-one centuries ago above the entrance to a library. It said: “Clinic of the Soul.” While likely anathema to jealous clergy then and now, these are still wise if imperfect “Manguel-Ian” words for people in their libraries and among books wherever you find them.
The book is actually a moving and remarkable conversation between the writer and the reader, who discuss life and books and their magical, symbiotic relationship.
For me, the book became an intimate dialogue with a friend. (My part of the dialog consisted in underlining sections especially relevant to me and in providing notes for future reference.)
Anyone who has ever created and then moved a personal library, regardless of how small or seemingly eccentric, will feel a strong bond with the author.
For me, reading the book was a pleasure and an especially curious one given the differences between the author and myself.
Perhaps it is true, after all, what psychologists and anthropologists tell us (and human nature demonstrates) that what we have in common with one another counts much more than our differences. The things we share bind us together; in our new connected world, distances, and to a large extent even languages, no longer separate us.
The framing story here is his telling of having to pack up his personal library from his home in France and put it into storage. As he described the memories conjured up by going through his collection, I was greatly moved. Though not quite as massive as his, I have a very large collection of books myself. I have been very fortunate in that I have never had to leave any of my books behind. I suppose I would survive it but I hate to imagine it. Mr. Manguel has given me a role model in the experience.
The books he comes across in his packing sends him off into various “digressions”. They also cover a wide variety of interesting topics. One of my favorites was his commentary on the power of words as he looks at the story of the golem.
In the end, this is a short book but filled with powerful ideas and great stories. As a reader and bibliophile, I wouldn’t pass this one by.
Top reviews from other countries
This is a small book of 144 pages, but it is filled with learning, history, literature, and wisdom that one can read it about once a week for the rest of one’s life. Manguel packs ten digressions into his short tale, but every digression is a lovely detour into a different, yet familiar, literary terrain. In his digressions, Manguel discusses man’s desire for identity and affirmation, justice, the purpose of the novel, the dictionary, and dreams – among many other lively reflections of things that affect our literary mind. This is what he says of reading: 'The discovery of the art of reading is intimate, obscure, secret, almost impossible to explain, akin to falling in love, if you will forgive the maudlin comparison.'
Manguel explores what it is that makes a story important or even relevant, and how much originality is left in the literary world for the rest of us to mine? From Kafka, to Dante, to Cervantes, and Meyrinck, Manguel takes us through a dizzy, exhilarating, and joyous ride into the magic kingdom of books and libraries. May we all be lost in them and never be found again. That might be Paradise.