Happy (belated) National Library Week!
Last week was National Library Week, and though we’re a little late to the party, Yale Press has a number of titles to help bibliophiles continue exploring this year’s theme: “Worlds connect @ your library.”
“Libraries,” Alberto Manguel says, “have always seemed to me pleasantly mad places, and for as long as I can remember I’ve been seduced by their labyrinthine logic.” In The Library at Night, Manguel takes readers on an idiosyncratic tour of libraries from Ancient Egypt to Nazi Europe, from Count Dracula’s imaginary collection to the author’s own childhood bookshelves. Washington Post Book World calls his work “a richly enjoyable book, absolutely enthralling for anyone who loves to read and an inspiration for anybody who has ever dreamed of building a library of his or her own.”
Libraries in the Ancient World begins at the beginning—with clay tablets and the invention of writing—to tell the story of the library. Along the way, author Lionel Casson considers buildings, holdings, and acquisition processes, as well as the connections between libraries, literacy, and education. This book offers readers a fascinating and unexpected perspective on our relationship with books.
Matthias Corvinus, Hungary’s fifteenth-century “Raven King,” was a warrior and art patron who amassed the most magnificent library in Christendom over the course of his reign. But after his death, a Turkish invasion scattered Matthias’s two thousand volumes across Europe. In The Raven King, author Marcus Tanner follows the generations-long quest to recover the lost Hungarian library—it’s an absorbing account of library as treasure and national symbol.
And, this November, just in time for the holidays, the Press will release Jo Steffens’s Unpacking My Library—a photographic examination of fourteen leading architects’ book collections. It promises to be a treat for book lovers and architecture enthusiasts. So, until then, keep searching the shelves.