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READING ON THE WEB

by Gerry McCarthy
The author Alberto Manguel’s library consists of 30,000 books. He rebuilt a fifteenth century barn on his property in Mondion, France, to make room for his collection.
     In Michael Greenberg’s recent Freelance column in The Times Literary Supplement, we learn that Manguel can’t bear to throw away his books. "Not even the bad ones," he says. My own collection of books is astonishingly small compared to Manguel’s number. Still I’m drawn to anyone who has serious trouble discarding books.
     But in a recent literary event at the New York Public Library, Manguel lost me with his thoughts on the Internet. He insists the computer is a technological step backwards for readers, since it replaces the "codex with the scroll."

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