A must-share preview of my current reading undertaking, the long-awaited and oft postponed personal and ordered yet disorderly meditation on the library, The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel. If this beginning doesn’t tickle and tempt you, I might think that you don’t own any books:
“The starting point is the question.
Outside theology and fantastic literature, few can doubt that the main features of our universe are its dearth of meaning and lack of discernible purpose. And yet, with bewildering optimism, we continue to assemble whatever scraps of information we can gather in scrolls and books and computer chips, on shelf after library shelf, whether material, virtual or otherwise, pathetically intent on lending the world a semblance of sense and order, while knowing perfectly well that, however much we’d like to believe the contrary, our pursuits are sadly doomed to failure.
Why then do we do it? Though I knew from the start that the question would most likely remain unanswered, the quest seemed worthwhile for its own sake. This book is the story of that quest.”
–Alberto Manguel, in the foreword to his book “The Library at Night” to be published by Yale University Press, April 2008