by Alberto Manguel
New Haven : Yale University Press, 2008.
You know those books that you finish, and you liked it so well that you can hardly say why? This was one of those books for me, but here's my best attempt:
I so enjoyed this book, an homage to libraries of all sorts - personal, public, national, and even imaginary. Each chapter is almost an essay in its own right, though Manguel often builds on thoughts from one to the next. This book was as much over my head when it came to literature as Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time was over my head in science (and I was an English major!). Manguel's erudition often intimidated me, yet he is never stuffy. His musings become an interesting mix of philosophy, history, and literary criticism that made me wish my mental library was a little closer to his so that I could follow more of his thoughts. I most loved the book when he was meandering, talking about personal libraries or love of books, and I wish the book was my own so I could underline passages or revisit it whenever I like.