Alberto Manguel On His Personal Library

“My library is not a single beast but a composite of many others, a fantastic animal made up of the several libraries built and then abandoned, over and over again, throughout my life. I can’t remember a time in which I didn’t have a library of some sort. The present one is a sort of multilayered autobiography, each book holding the moment in which I opened it for the first time. The scribbles on the margins, the occasional date on the flyleaf, the faded bus ticket marking a page for a reason today mysterious, all try to remind me of who I was then. For the most part, they fail. My memory is less interested in me than in my books, and I find it easier to remember the story read once than the young man who then read it.”

-Manguel’s personal library pictured above
from the NYT h/t Alan Jacobs

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2 comments so far

  1. Paul on

    Otium sin litteris mors est (old latin saying about books)

    Sir,

    Very nice looking library. What a peaceful place to sit and read.
    I was just surfing the web looking for photos of personal libraries and yours showed up.

    Paul

  2. Samuel Vasbinder on

    Your collection makes me want to climb into the room through the screen and start reading. The books look so nice on your shelves, obviously a person who loves to read and loves books. I have been putting personal library photos on my desktop as wallpaper. thanks for yours. Sam Vasbinder, Ph.D.


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