Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Book About Books

The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel

This is the story of libraries-how they are created; how they are managed; how they are loved--a story of eccentricities and changes of how and what we read.  It is the story of the author's own library as well as famous historical libraries and little-known yet fascinating libraries.  Think this subject isn't book-worthy?  Then, I shall quote from the book itself, "There speaks a dolt, someone utterly insensitive, in intellectual or any other terms, to the experience of reading."

What is more delightful than wandering down stacks of books, entire worlds waiting at your fingertips?  What is more frustrating than deciding how to organize and re-organize your own library?  All questions and musings will be asked and mused over.

But, it isn't just idle reflections gathered in these pages.  Real stories and dilemmas linger there, too.  Consider:
  • With all the new digital media formats, will books as we know them ever become obsolete?  If all books become a digitized file, what happens if there is a collapse of our technological world; will all that knowledge then become obsolete?
  • The poignant and powerful and secretive libraries that sprung up in the concentration camps during the Holocaust.  Somehow, a book would be smuggled in and the victims of the camp would be allotted one hour, alone, to read before passing on the book to another.  "Another young Polish victim, recalling the days of fear and discouragement, had to say:  The book was my best friend, it never betrayed me; it comforted me in my despair; it told me I was not alone."
  • If either of these stories peak your interest, a plethora more await in this book.

If I had to compare this book to music, it would be of the classical bent-peaceful, serene, timeless, something important to read because it will make you a better person, a better reader.

If you love the smell and feel of a book, old or new....look no further.  "Lys ce que voudra Read As You Please"

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