" . . . [M]y books know infinitely more than I do, and I'm grateful that they even tolerate my presence."
—Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night, p. 4
"'Why need I even speak of it, since it is imperishably held in the memory of all men?' wrote Athenaeus of Naucratis, barely a century and a half after [the library of Alexandria's] destruction."
—The Library at Night, p. 27
[Athenaeus hadn't seen it, nor had anyone alive. He made it vivid through insistance, not recollection, like people's ideas of a better decade, a perfect past, a moment that wasn't.]
"In any of the pages in any of my books may lie a perfect account of my secret experience of the world."
—The Library at Night, p. 29