A History of Reading and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.40
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by harvestbooks
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Condition: Very good condition., Binding: Trade Paperback. / Publisher: Penguin USA (Paper) / Pub. Date: October, 1997 Attributes: 372 p. / Illustrations: B&W Photographs and Illustrations Stock#: 2029560 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

A History of Reading Paperback – October 1, 1997


See all 14 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, October 1, 1997
$5.45 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140166548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140166545
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This wide-ranging and erudite exploration of the topic of reading is suffused with the spirit of Manguel's fellow Argentinian Jorge Luis Borges. Manguel takes us through the history of reading as if leading us room by room through the infinite library Borges constructed in one of his famous stories. Manguel's approach is not chronological, but thematic. His chapter topics jump from attempts to censor reading to the physical surroundings favored by readers, from the limitations of translations to the esotericism of books written for a restricted readership. Throughout he moves easily through time and geography to quote anecdotes and examples from diverse sources. Manguel's enthusiasm, and the impressive breadth of his reading, will make his readers eager to rush to the nearest library.

From Library Journal

Writer, translator, and editor Manguel (In Another Part of the Forest, LJ 6/15/94) has produced a personal and original book on reading. In 22 chapters, we find out such things as how scientists, beginning in ancient Greece, explain reading; how Walt Whitman viewed reading; how Princess Enheduanna, around 2300 B.C., was one of the few women in Mesopotamia to read and write; and how Manguel read to Jorge Luis Borges when he became blind. Manguel selects whatever subject piques his interest, jumping backward and forward in time and place. Readers might be wary of such a miscellaneous, erudite book, but it manages to be invariably interesting, intriguing, and entertaining. Over 140 illustrations show, among other things, anatomical drawings from 11th-century Egypt, painting of readers, cathedral sculptures, and stone tables of Sumerian students. The result is a fascinating book to dip into or read cover to cover. For public and academic libraries.?Nancy Shires, East Carolina Univ., Greenville, N.C.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Internationally acclaimed as an anthologist, translator, essayist, novelist, and editor, Alberto Manguel is the bestselling author of several award-winning books, including A Dictionary of Imaginary Places and A History of Reading. He was born in Buenos Aires, moved to Canada in 1982 and now lives in France, where he was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre français des Arts et des Lettres.

Customer Reviews

It is a book I will recommend frequently to anyone I know who loves reading.
Matthew J. Lambert
The cover of my edition of the work shows a blank page with text visible only through the eyeglasses placed on top of it.
S. Smith-Peter
This book is well-written, perfectly researched, and a staple for reading history.
nHansen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By bibliomane01 on May 19, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"A History of Reading" is an eclectic collection of essays on books, bibliophiles, bibliophobes, bibliokleptomanes, printing, translation, censorship, reading glasses and the Heian period in Japan. A browser's delight, it can also be devoured in a single sitting (guilty). From reading aloud to reading silently and from the physical pleasures of a book's shape, binding and smell to the less corporeal qualities of books that prompted Pinochet's Chile to ban "Don Quixote" as subversive, Alberto Manguel's bibiomanic panorama is a thoroughly enjoyable celebration of one of life's greatest pleasures. In it, the reader will encounter Callimachus of Cyrene, who worked in the "vanished library" of Alexandria and laid the foundations for what we know today as the library catalogue; compare and contrast the difffering approaches to public readings of Charles Dickens and Pliny the Younger; and decide once and for all whether it is preferable to read lying down or at a desk. Tolle, lege!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Cipriano on January 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Any lover of books and reading will love the time spent here in these pages. "Time" is often the reason many people give for NOT reading. Others often feel guilty about the actual amount of time that they gladly devote to reading. I admit that I am of this latter group. Reading Manguel's book puts it all in perspective... makes me fall in love with the printed word all over again, and helps me to realize that I am part of a long line of splendour... that there is indeed, a wonderful history of those who have loved reading and/or writing books.
His book is an excellent thematic study; the erudite gleanings of seven years of research, and chockfull of the personal touch of a lifetime of being profoundly bookish. Along with vignettes of his personal acquaintance with Argentine poet Jorge Luis Borges, there are very insightful passages on Franz Kafka, Walt Whitman, Rainer Maria Rilke and many other greats. I remember being surprised that Manguel (a Canadian resident since 1982) was not even shortlisted for the Governor General's award for this book... but then later on it won one of the world's most prestigious of awards, France's Prix Medicis... and all was well with the world.
It's a beautifully written book. It fortifies my conviction that if I'm ever too busy to be a READER... then I'm definitely too busy, and something's gotta go!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 1998
Format: Paperback
When I first saw Alberto Manguel's A History of Reading, two thoughts ran through my mind. First, what a wonderful topic for a work of non-fiction. Second, how can one possibly write such a book? I am thrilled to report that Manguel has succeeded beyond all expectations. Both a personal essay telling of Manguel's own learning to read and encounters with books and a highly eclectic survey of books and reading through the ages, History provides both erudition and levity, scholarship and wit. In broad outline, Manguel groups his books in two sections. In the first, "Acts of Reading", he tells how reading itself took different shapes during the ages, including being read to, picture reading (books made up of pictures for the non-reader), reading silently to oneself, and other matters. The second part is captioned "Powers of the Reader and deals with the forbidden reader (e.g., pre-emancipation slaves in the American south); translation; prophesy; and other matters. Manguel quickly becomes an old friend and companion. I hated to see this book end!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Matthew J. Lambert on January 9, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is wonderful to read about a subject that you value so much written by someone who feels the same way. The value for me, however, was the prism Manguel offers through which reading is separated into a variety of dazzling colors. I enjoyed the history, the anecdotes, his personal experiences, and his ability to carry a thread from our earliest ancestors desire to understand the written word to the present. His references caused me to visit the library and bookstores once again and enjoy authors that I had either forgotten or with whom I was not yet familiar. It is a book I will recommend frequently to anyone I know who loves reading.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 1997
Format: Paperback
A strange thing, reading. It doesn't immediately strike one as THE easiest subject on which to write a history, but Alberto Manguel does a wonderful job tracing reading from Sumerian stone tablets to contemporary computers. The guy seems to know as much as any ten people. He's taken a very private act and made it public, in the process creating not only a history of reading but a history of thinking as well. This is a great book to read late at night. One slips into it like a warm bath. Anyone who doesn't smile at the section in which the young Manguel reads to the blind Borges doesn't deserve to own books
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By nHansen on May 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is well-written, perfectly researched, and a staple for reading history. At first, the book is slightly surprising because it doesn't read chronologically but thematically. When reading a "history", the reader thinks that chronology will be the main vein of the text; this text follows the vein of themes. A new and prudent story opens and meters each chapter. We are introduced to crucial information, people, and history, through the vantage point of stories, people, and research. I found the thematic approach alarming at first but later found it refreshing.

This is a wonderful book for a history of reading. It is text book quality book wrapped in a more popular presentation and writing style. It is simple and clear. It is actually exciting and pleasant.

The research is wonderful and illuminating. Anyone who is interestied in taking a walk through time, and a history of reading and some of the most important characters, this is the book for you. The history of reading is made interesting through wonderful themes, people, and stories. A great scholar, reader, and man. A great book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?