FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 9 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
A History of Reading has been added to your Basket
+ £3.29 delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by WeBuyBooks
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: UK Expedited shipping available on this item for 4.99. Fast shipping. Excellent Customer Feedback.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

A History of Reading Paperback – 21 Apr 1997

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

See all 16 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
£10.32 £2.16
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
click to open popover

Frequently bought together

  • A History of Reading
  • +
  • The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future: 256
Total price: £26.98
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Only on Amazon: One product for every need Only on Amazon: New Releases

Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; 1st edition (21 April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006546811
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006546818
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 16.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 308,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
    If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description


This study of the history of reading goes from the earliest examples of the clay tablets and cuneiform of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt via the invention of printing in the 15th century to the birth of a mass reading public and today's digital revolution. It argues that it is the demands and expectations of the reader, acting alongside the creative will of the writer, that is the evolutionary motor of literary forms and genres. From man's first use of the written word simply as a form of reference, to the emergence of the first holy or devotional texts, and onto the development of fictions, both poetic and novelistic, this work aims to both challenge and enlighten.

From the Back Cover

"To read is to fly; it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience, and the fruits of many inquiries. A life thus equipped might not be happier – might sometimes be less so, indeed, for to know more can be to feel more, and the ground note of history is a long cry of pain – but it is vastly richer . . .As is inevitable with so self-reflexive an enterprise, much has been written about books and reading. Little of it has been better than this wonderful account, 'A History of Reading', by Alberto Manguel, a judicious magpie of a literatus who has collected a trove of fascinations on the subject, and arranged them brilliantly . . . .almost every page bristles with interest"
A C GRAYLING 'Financial Times'

"Wonderful stuff . . . A rich and savoury casserole of learning, Manguel’s 'A History of Reading' at first refreshes and soothes the jaded palate and ends with delicious titbits from the lives and works of great authors. "
VICTORIA NEUMARK ' Times Educational Supplement'

"What Alberto Manguel has given us is his personal response to books and reading in the form of an anthology comprising mythology, anecdote, theology, history and autobiography . . . in lucid and elegant prose . . . highly enjoyable. I finished 'A History of Reading' with a sense of gratitude to have shared this journey through time in the company of a mind so lively, knowledgeable and sympathetic. "
P D JAMES'Sunday Times'

"A charming, old-fashioned, up-to-date, belletristic tribute to the art of reading."
KARL MILLER 'Observer'

"Delightful, written in a lively and lucid prose. "

"A passionate book . . . .highly entertaining. "

Manguel’s erudition is awe-inspiring"
D J ENRIGHT 'Times Literary Supplement'

"A delightfully wide-ranging, beguiling study of a small daily miracle. "
PAUL BAILEY ' Daily Telegraph'

8 customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Review this product

Share your thoughts with other customers

Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews

29 February 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
3 people found this helpful
Comment Report abuse
4 January 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
25 April 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
27 January 2012
Format: Paperback
6 people found this helpful
Comment Report abuse
20 July 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
5 June 2011
Format: Paperback
10 people found this helpful
Comment Report abuse
12 January 2000
Format: Paperback
37 people found this helpful
Comment Report abuse
5 June 2013
Format: Paperback
2 people found this helpful
Comment Report abuse

Would you like to see more reviews about this item?

Where's My Stuff?

Delivery and Returns

Need Help?