The Last Page
Posted On March 13, 2017
Manguel, Alberto. ???The Last Page.??? A History of Reading. New York: Viking, 1996. 2-23.
Summary: In the first part of the story, Manguel talks about each individual picture and tells us what is actually happening in each. He then moves on to talking about the memories and the love he had for books. For example, Manguel takes books from library, because he doesn??™t have time to read them there, but when he gets them home and read, he can??™t seem to part with them. He also tells us of going and reading to Jorge Luis Borges, a blind man he meets. He reads several stories to the man, while being interrupted from time to time, so that Jorge is able to talk about what he thinks about the story. Finally, he tells us of two different types of reading, one of which the reader can relate to the story, and takes the time to slow down and actually read the text, taking in details and imagining what is really happening. In the other form of reading, Manguel believes the reader just quickly reads it without taking anything in and without meaning.
Quotes: ???Impatient or merely bored, a mother holds up a book for here red-haired son as he tries to follow the words with his right hand on the page??? (5).
???I was twelve or thirteen; I was curled up in one of the big armchairs, engrossed in an article on the devastating effects of gonorrhoea, when my father came in and settled himself at his desk??? (12).
???I was the driver, but the landscape, the unfurling space, belonged to the one being driven, for whom there was no other responsibility than that of apprehending the country outside the windows??? (19).
Comment: In the second quote above, I really enjoyed reading it and laughing along as I read it. I can remember being little and looking or doing something that maybe seemed wrong when it really wasn??™t, and a parent walking in. It was an embarrassing situation then, but when I look back on it now it seems silly.
Question: Why is it that reading for pleasure seemed so popular in the story and the pictures, but is not done or seen as that in today??™s world