I have been spending brief periods with that most charming of men, Senor Alberto Manguel. Brief, because he’s a busy man: he’s obliged to move from his French home and this means he has to pack up his private library of thirty-five thousand books. And do not for one minute think the books were chucked any old how into packing cases. Oh no. Au contraire, as he would doubtless say.


The books are individually wrapped and carefully packed in a specific order in categories in labelled packing cases. This is state of the art  packing of his treasured library.
Senor Manguel can and does write endlessly about books . They are his passion. I own two of his books*, and recently bought a third, Packing My Library. I love reading books about books, and that’s his niche.

How I wish I could have dinner with the man. He’s erudite, without being stuffy; cosmopolitan; always entertaining. A reviewer described his love of books as : He is a Don Juan of libraries. Manguel loves books, and I love his books.

* A Reading Diary
*A History of Reading




  1. Alberto Manguel intrigues me. Thank you for introducing me to him. Just to let you know, I am packing (by ‘packing’ I mean ‘carrying’) my books around in my Ereader wherever I go in my city. That said, my library cannot measure up to Alberto’s as it consists of only 350 books. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I doubt that there are any serious contenders to challenge Manguel’s massive personal library. In fact, I suspect that many of our South African Public libraries might not reach his total! Especially in our small towns and rural areas. School libraries – where they exist at all – are also very modest. But: Viva Libraries, whatever their size!

      Liked by 1 person

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