Alberto Manguel quotes

  • Every reader exists to ensure for a certain book a modest immortality. Reading is, in this sense, a ritual of rebirth.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Reading #Rebirth

  • Libraries, whether my own or shared with a greater reading public, have always seemed to me pleasantly mad places, and for as long as I can remember I've been seduced by their labyrinthine logic, which suggests that reason (if not art) rules over a cacophonous arrangement of books.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Art #Book #Reading

  • Maybe this is why we read, and why in moments of darkness we return to books: to find words for what we already know.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Darkness #Return

  • Books may not change our suffering, books may not protect us from evil, books may not tell us what is good or what is beautiful, and they will certainly not shield us from the common fate of the grave. But books grant us myriad possibilities: the possibility of change, the possibility of illumination.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Beautiful #Book #Fate

  • Life happened because I turned the pages.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Inspirational #Motivational #Pages

  • Reading in bed is a self-centered act, immobile, free from ordinary social conventions, invisible to the world, and one that, because it takes place between the sheets, in the realm of lust and sinful idleness, has something of the thrill of things forbidden.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Reading #Self #Lust

  • If justice takes place, there may be hope, even in the face of a seemingly capricious divinity.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Justice #Divinity #May

  • I like to imagine that, on the day after my last, my library and I will crumble together, so that even when I am no more I'll still be with my books.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Library #Together

  • As centuries of dictators have known, an illiterate crowd is the easiest to rule; since the craft of reading cannot be untaught once it has been acquired, the second-best recourse is to limit its scope.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Reading #Crafts #Crowds

  • Each book was a world unto itself, and in it I took refuge.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Reading #World

  • In a library, no empty shelf remains empty for long.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Long #Library #Empty

  • Ultimately, the number of books always exceeds the space they are granted.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Numbers #Space

  • If every library is in some sense a reflection of its readers, it is also an image of that which we are not, and cannot be.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Reflection #Library #Reader

  • Unicorns, dragons, witches may be creatures conjured up in dreams, but on the page their needs, joys, anguishes, and redemptions should be just as true as those of Madame Bovary or Martin Chuzzlewit.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Dream #Writing #Dragons

  • I have no feelings of guilt regarding the books I have not read and perhaps will never read; I know that my books have unlimited patience. They will wait for me till the end of my days.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Waiting #Feelings

  • We can imagine the books we'd like to read, even if they have not yet been written, and we can imagine libraries full of books we would like to possess, even if they are well beyond our reacher, because we enjoy dreaming up a library that reflects every one of our interests and every one of our foibles--a library that, in its variety and complexity, fully reflects the reader we are.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Dream #Book #Library

  • In the light, we read the inventions of others; in the darkness we invent our own stories.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Writing #Night #Light

  • Entering a library, I am always stuck by the way in which a certain vision of the world is imposed upon the reader through its categories and its order.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Order #Vision #Library

  • But at night, when the library lamps are lit, the outside world disappears and nothing but the space of books remains in existence.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Night #Space

  • In my fool hardy youth, when my friends were dreaming of heroic deeds in the realms of engineering and law, finance and national politics, I dreamt of becoming a librarian.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Dream #Engineering #Law

  • At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book—that string of confused, alien ciphers—shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Confused #Book #Childhood

  • At night, here in the library, the ghosts have voices.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Night #Voice #Library

  • The starting point is a question.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Starting

  • The love of libraries, like most loves, must be learned.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Reading #Book #Thought Provoking

  • I can understand that there are those who can think and imagine the world without words, but I think that once you find the words that name your experience, then suddenly that experience becomes grounded, and you can use it and you can try to understand it.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Thinking #Names #Trying

  • This morning I looked at the books on my shelves and thought that they have no knowledge of my existence. They come to life because I open them and turn their pages, and yet they don't know that I am their reader.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Morning #Book #Pages

  • In no way am I demeaning writing or any other form of art because it's popular. What I'm saying is that anything fed into the industrial machinery to comply with rules of size and length and shelf-life has a hard time surviving as art.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Art #Writing #Hard Times

  • The telling of stories creates the real world.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Real #Stories #World

  • I enjoyed learning the poems, but I didn't understand of what use they might possibly be. ‘They'll keep you company on the day you have no books to read,' my teacher said.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Teacher #Book #Use

  • I remember, as a child, the confusion of not knowing what this place was where I was supposed to spend the night: it's a disquieting experience for a child. And what I would do was quickly unpack my books and go back to a book I knew well and make sure the same text and the same illustrations were there.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Children #Book #Night

  • The readers who commited suicide after reading 'Werther' were not ideal but merely sentimental readers.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Suicide #Reading #Sentimental

  • Reality deals in specifics under the guise of generalities. Literature does the contrary...
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Reality #Doe #Literature

  • I had a library of maybe 1,000 books in my room in Buenos Aires. I did have the sense that everything there was organised in the right way. You'll probably think I needed serious psychiatric treatment, but there were times when I would not buy a book because I knew it wouldn't fit one of the categories into which I had divided the library.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Thinking #Library

  • As readers, we are seldom interested in the fine sentiments of a lesson learnt; we seldom care about the good manners of morals. Repentance puts an end to conversation; forgiveness becomes the stuff of moralistic tracts. Revenge - bloodthirsty, justice-hungry revenge - is the very essence of romance, lying at the heart of much of the best fiction.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Revenge #Lying #Heart

  • The world encyclopedia, the universal library, exists, and it is the world itself.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Library #World #Encyclopedia

  • Reading is the occupation of the insomniac par excellence.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Reading #Excellence #Occupation

  • For Borges, the core of reality lay in books; reading books, writing books, talking about books. In a visceral way, he was conscious of continuing a dialogue begun thousands of years before and which he believed would never end.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Reading #Writing

  • We seem to live a culture that doesn't want blemishes. The vision of most beautiful models... airbrushed in order to be seen as perfect, infects our notion of how literature should be written.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Beautiful #Order #Perfect

  • It used to be that readers were relegated because they considered themselves far above society, and so the metaphor of the ivory tower developed. Now there's still this idea that the reader doesn't take part in the social game and in politics, the res publica, but for other reasons: he doesn't do it because he's not making any money.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Ivory Tower #Games #Ideas

  • I've never really understood attachment to a place for reasons of birth. That my mother happened to give birth to me in a certain place doesn't, to my mind, justify any thankfulness towards that place. It could have been anywhere.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Mother #Attachment #Giving

  • I quickly learned that reading is cumulative and proceeds by geometrical progression: each new reading builds upon whatever the reader has read before.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Reading #Progression #Reader

  • When literature is discovered, a revelation occurs: the joyful, exultant knowledge that anything can happen.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Literature #Joyful #Revelations

  • In our day, computer technology and the proliferation of books on CD-ROM have not affected - as far as statistics show - the production and sale of books in their old-fashioned codex form.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Technology #Cds

  • Books read in a public library never have the same flavour as books read in the attic or the kitchen.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Kitchen #Library

  • One can transform a place by reading in it.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Reading

  • To say that an author is a reader or a reader an author, to see a book as a human being or a human being a book, to describe the world as text or a text as the world, are ways of naming the readers craft.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #World #Crafts

  • Every library is a library of preferences, and every chosen category implies an exclusion.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Library #Exclusion #Preference

  • Through ignorance, through faith, through intelligence, through trickery and cunning, through illumination, the reader rewrites the text with the same words of the original but under another heading, re-creating it, as it were, in the very act of bringing it into being.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Ignorance #Illumination #Creating

  • The association of books with their readers is unlike any other between objects and their users.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Association #Reader

  • I know that something dies when i give up my books, and that my memory keeps going back to them with mournful nostalgia.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Giving Up #Memories #Book

  • The listeners who buy books after a reading multiply that reading; the author who realizes that he or she may be writing on a blank page but is at least not speaking to a blank wall may be encouraged by the experience, and write more.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Wall #Book #Reading

  • It is in the translation that the innocence lost after the first reading is restored under another guise, since the reader is once again faced with a new text and its attendant mystery. That is the inescapable paradox of translation, and also its wealth.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Reading #Firsts #Innocence

  • At different times and in different places I have come to expect certain books to look a certain way, and, as in all fashions, these changing features fix a precise quality onto a book's definition. I judge a book by its cover; I judge a book by its shape.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Fashion #Book #Judging

  • Something about the possession of a book - an object that can contain infinite fables, words of wisdom, chronicles of times gone by, humorous anecdotes and divine revelation - endows the reader with the power of creating a story, and the listener with a sense of being present at the moment of creation.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Humorous #Book #Creating

  • Every text assumes a reader.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Assuming #Reader

  • The world that is a book is devoured bya reader who is a letter in the world's text; thus a circular metaphor is created for the endlessness of reading; We are what we read.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Reading #World

  • We read to understand, or to begin to understand. We cannot do but to read. Reading almost as much as breathing, is our essential function.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Reading #Breathing #Essentials

  • reading is at the beginning of the social contract
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Reading #Social #Contracts

  • I never talked to anyone about my reading; the need to share came afterwords.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Reading #Needs #Share

  • A book brings its own history to the reader.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Reader

  • Nothing moves except my eyes and my hand occasionally turning a page, and yet something not exactly defined by the word "text" unfurls, progresses, grows and takes root as I read. But how does this process take place?
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Moving #Eye #Hands

  • The American psychologist Julian Jaynes, in a controversial study on the origin of consciousness, argued that the bicameral mind - in which one of the hemispheres becomes specialized in silent reading - is a late development in humankind's evolution, and that the process by which this function develops is still changing.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Reading #Mind #Hemisphere

  • In every literate society, learning to read is something of an initiation, a ritualized passage out of a state of dependency and rudimentary communication.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Communication #States #Passages

  • Socrates affirmed that only that which the reader already knows can be sparked by a reading, and that the knowledge cannot be acquired through dead letters.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Reading #Letters #Reader

  • As we read a text in our own language, the text itself becomes a barrier.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Language #Barriers

  • I wanted to live among books.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Wanted

  • A library is an ever-growing entity; it multiples seemingly unaided, it reproduces itself by purchase, theft, borrowings, gifts, by suggesting gaps through association, by demanding completion of sorts.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Library #Growing #Association

  • Old books that we have known but not possessed cross our path and invite themselves over. New books try to seduce us daily with tempting titles and tantalizing covers.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Trying #Titles

  • It hardly matters why a library is destroyed: every banning, curtailment, shredding, plunder or loot gives rise (at least as a ghostly presence) to a louder, clearer, more durable library of the banned, looted, plundered, shredded or curtailed.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Giving #Library #Matter

  • Readers, censors know, are defined by the books they read.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Reader

  • Digestion of words as well; I often read aloud to myself in my writing corner in the library, where no one can hear me, for the sake of better savouring the text, so as to make it all the more mine.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Writing #Library #Sake

  • Deserted libraries hold the shades of writers who worked within, and are haunted by their absence.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Library #Shade #Absence

  • The stories that unfold in the space of a writer's study, the objects chosen to watch over a desk, the books selected to sit on the shelves, all weave a web of echoes and reflections of meanings and affections, that lend a visitor the illusion that something of the owner of this space lives on between these walls, even if the owner is no more.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Wall #Book #Reflection

  • Every reader has found charms by which to secure possession of a page that, by magic, becomes as if never read before, fresh and immaculate.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Magic #Pages #Charm

  • But a reader's ambition knows no bounds.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Ambition #Reader

  • Unpacking books is a revelatory activity.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Book #Unpacking

  • Readers are bullied in schoolyards and in locker-rooms as much as in government offices and prisons.
    -- Alberto Manguel

    #Government #Office #Lockers