This is another book no bookworm should miss. It’s the perfect one to cuddle up with on the sofa, forget the world around you and immerse yourself into the world of books, poets, writers and literature.
Alberto Manguel who is a well known essayist moves from his first time he discovered books to the history of books and reading that goes back some 6000 years. He talks about reading as seduction, as an act of rebellion, the obsessed readers, the occasional readers and he traces the history back to the the first clay tabletts, to paper scrolls and to what was the latest in the 1990s when this book came out – the CD Rom.
This is a rich and wonderful book. A treasure chest of knowledge, reading, stories and really wonderful illustration – what a journey. It is incredibly engaging with lot’s of interesting explorations and knowledige bits about the history of the book and literature in general. It certainly makes you think about how you became a reader. Can you remember the first time somebody read to you or the first time you started reading yourself? What was your first book?
My grandfather read to me from a book every night called „365 Good night stories“ and I can still remember my frustrated begging for just ONE more story please please with sugar on top. I usually managed to get more than one story out of him at night but rarely more than 2 or 3. That was it! I had to learn mastering the little magical symbols so I could conquer the world of stories myself.
I was so proud, when I slowly and painstakingly mastered the most wonderful skills in the world when I was around 5. From that day one no paper with anything writte on it was safe from me. I devoured not just books, put anything written. Advertising flyers, billboards, closing credits on TV and of course books.
There was nothing I wanted and needed more. All the neighbors in our apartment block searched their flats for forgotten children books (most of them had grown-up kids already) and I also remember that first day I was introduced and registered at the local library in my hometown. This is a whole other story about this tiny little library that I completely fell in love with…
Ooops, I’ve gone astray, back to „A History of Reading“. Manguel shows us what happens when we read, how books form us, and how reading teaches us to live. It is a wonderful recap of why people read and will always read. It is a combination of personal stories, historical references and fitting illustrations that make the book not just informative but very enjoyable.
This is a must read and the perfect present for all you bibliophiles out there or the ones in your life. Combine this with Ella Berthoud’s book on Bibliotherapy.
So – what was your first book? Can you remember?