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A History of Reading

Alberto Manguel's book looks at how reading has affected people's lives throughout time.

Alberto Manguel

Alberto Manguel takes us on a fascinating exploration of what it means to be a reader of books. A History of Reading is a brilliant reminder of why we cherish the act of reading — despite distractions throughout the ages, from the Inquisition to the lures of cyberspace. He shows us what happens when we read, who we become and how reading teaches us how to live. He reminds us that we live in books as well as among them — how we find our own stories in books, and traces of our lives. He shows us how our reading habits have developed over the centuries, and how, ever since humans first transcribed their thoughts and deeds on clay and papyrus, the act of reading is itself a part of being human. (From Vintage Canada)

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From the book

At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book - that string of confused, alien ciphers — shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader.


From A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel ©1997. Published by Vintage Canada.

Author interviews

Alberto Manguel is renowned as a prolific writer and reader; indeed, he's a dedicated champion of serious reading. His latest passion is an examination of the perils and promise of curiosity. 30:54
Alberto Manguel is a writer who prefers to be known as a reader. In his latest book, Curiosity, he explores his own curiosity about curiosity, in the company of Dante and other great writers. 53:58

More about this book

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