Written by the prolific Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night examines the history, culture and religious circumstances surrounding the establishment of libraries, both public and private. Throughout what seems like a rather short book in hindsight, the author lovingly takes note of the various ways in which to design and maintain these paperback communities:
I heard about this wonderful little book via an impromptu gathering held by Contents magazine called The Library as Dinner Party, which led many of my Internet book chums to discuss it and share their notes. Though, for one reason or another, I held off on reading it until I stumbled over an old post by Mandy Brown a few weeks ago. The Library at Night propelled her to write about the current state of digital libraries, where she argued that the hardware/software dynamic we see today in ebooks is designed to solve the wrong problem entirely:
How do we design better shelves? Well, first we must learn about their physical compatriots, and so I can’t think of a better starting point than The Library at Night.