A History of Reading

A History of Reading

Book - 1996
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Baker & Taylor
A history of reading presents tales of book thieves, book burners, censors, anarchists, women of eleventh century Japan who had to invent their own reading material, and African-American slaves who were forbidden to read under penalty of death. 20,000 first printing. $20,000 ad/promo.

Blackwell North Amer
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.
Noted essayist Alberto Manguel moves from this essential moment to explore the 6000-year-old conversation between words and that magician without whom the book would be a lifeless object: the reader. Manguel lingers over reading as seduction, as rebellion, as obsession, and goes on to trace the never-before-told story of the reader's progress from clay tablet to scroll, codex to CD-ROM.

Baker
& Taylor

Presents the stories of book thieves, book burners, censors, anarchists, women of eleventh century Japan who had to invent their own reading material, and African American slaves who were forbidden to read under penalty of death

Publisher: New York : Viking, c1996
ISBN: 9780394280325
0394280326
9780670843022
0670843024
Characteristics: 372 p. : ill ; 24 cm

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lukasevansherman
Apr 22, 2015

"The History of Reading is eclectic."
I imagine if you're reading this, you like to read. Good job! Argentine writer Alberto Manguel's book is a history in the loosest sense; more free-wheeling, personal, and impressionistic essay than linear history, which isn't a bad thing, but it does lack focus. Still, it's full of great anecdotes and quotations, spans the globe and the centuries, and is handsomely illustrated. Also, Manguel knew Borges! Also check out "The Gutenberg Elegies."
"The association of books with their readers is unlike any other between objects and their users."

bwortman Mar 28, 2013

Manguel's style is free-flowing easily segueing from one historical period to another while exploring a single theme such as being read to. This is no history textbook moving in an inexorable march from early texts to modern reading, but instead a slow and enjoyable meandering from one time period to another in the beginnings of an exploration of this act is only of interest to those who are already readers themselves. Favourite chapters included those on women as readers and forbidden reading. An enjoyable read, Manguel's book is a small foray into the history of an act that continues far beyond the last page.

k
kalio
Jul 13, 2009

Noted Argentine writer Alberto Manguel takes us on a journey through time and geography to explore a single topic: reading. From drawn symbols on ancient clay tablets in the Middle East to the typed words in the books on your nightstand, the ability to read is something that every culture has in common. Whether ancient tribesmen are reading the pictures they?ve drawn on cave walls or you are reading this paragraph, reading?which Manguel defines as interpreting the meaning of signs or symbols?is something every human can do. And the history of reading is fascinating. Manguel does not tell this history from start to end; he jumps around in time and leaps across continents, telling an anecdote here or a explaining a myth there. From Princess Enheduanna, one of the very few women to read in 2300 B.C. Mesopotamia, to acclaimed author Jorge Luis Borges, who Manguel himself read to when the writer went blind, Manguel shares the lives of the world?s readers. He explores the role of libraries throughout the ages. He profiles great authors and writers. Most of all, Manguel celebrates how every individual reader recreates the written word with his or her own unique experiences and imagination. Filled with photographs and illustrations that highlight ancient and modern readers alike, A History of Reading is an illuminating look at the deceptively simple act of reading.

WordBird May 23, 2008

Readers take reading for granted - but not after reading this. Great for anyone who likes social histories like "Salt" by Mark Kurlansky.

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