on books and reading

(from Zama, the Governor questions a clerk in his office.)

What are you writing?…A book?  Make sons, Manuel, not books… then the clerk, in a respectful tone, deeply convinced of his own words, said “I want to realize myself in myself.  I don’t know what my children will be like.”  The governor hesitated…”Books? Ha, Ha!  Worse than children.” …(Manuel) managed to say, “Children realize themselves, but whether for good or ill we do not know.  Books are made only for truth and beauty.”  “That’s what you believe, what authors believe, but readers don’t see it like that,” came the ready retort.       Antonio di Benedetto


…like no other human creation, books have been the bane of dictatorships…the history of reading is lit by a seemingly endless line of censors’ bonfires.       Alberto Manguel


One writes only half the book; the other half is with the reader.                                            Joseph Conrad



Author: abookwomansholiday

The perfect holiday for a lifelong reader is one with a stack of books and few distractions. Retiring after three decades as a bookseller, I look forward to reading my way through the stacks and shelves and lists of books waiting for me. This blog will be something of a grab bag or commonplace book of reviews, quotations, notes on the history of books, the contemporary book trade, and anything connected with books and language. Reading is a great pleasure. Thinking and talking about books multiplies and intensifies that pleasure.

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