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17

T H U R S D A Y

“Go out and live!” Alberto Manguel’s mother would scold when she’d find the precocious bookworm immersed in some hefty volume. By then, reading had already cast its spell on Manguel; as a young clerk in a Buenos Aires bookstore he soon became a reader for the blind, aging Jorge Luis Borges, whose masterful ficciones argue that the reader—not the author—gets the final word. Now an essayist and editor in Canada, Manguel has written A History of Reading, a memoir of his lifelong obsession with the written word and an exhaustive chronicle of the mysterious craft. In a slide-illustrated lecture titled “St. Augustine’s Computer: The Future of Reading,” Manguel spins a wild but factual story of book thieves, book burners, anarchists, and crazed librarians. At 8 p.m. at the Ripley Center Lecture Hall, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Eddie Dean)