Friday, March 4, 2011

Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles

First sentence:

"When I first went to work in Harvard's Widener Library, I immediately made my first mistake: I tried to read the books."


"Throughout the ages, libraries have not only accumulated and preserved but also shaped, inspired, and obliterated knowledge. Matthew Battles, a rare books librarian and a gift narrator, 'entertainingly traces the evolution of the library through the centuries,' [New York Times Book Review] from Boston to Baghdad, from classical scriptoria to medieval monasteries, from the Vatican to the British library, from socialist reading rooms and rural home libraries to the Information Age." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this engaging book about libraries, books, writing and knowledge. I liked learning about how writing on bamboo stalks influenced the look of Asian writing and how Antonio Panizzi changed the card catalog "...from an inventory to an instrument of discovery" [p. 130].

Date read: 3/3/2011
Book #: 9
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: nonfiction

ISBN-10: 093325644
ISBN-13: 9780393325645
Publisher: W.W. Norton
Year: 2003
# of pages: 214
Binding: Trade Paperback

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