The Book

The Book

A Cover-to-cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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WW Norton
We may love books, but do we know what lies behind them? In The Book, Keith Houston reveals that the paper, ink, thread, glue, and board from which a book is made tell as rich a story as the words on its pages—of civilizations, empires, human ingenuity, and madness. In an invitingly tactile history of this 2,000-year-old medium, Houston follows the development of writing, printing, the art of illustrations, and binding to show how we have moved from cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls to the hardcovers and paperbacks of today. Sure to delight book lovers of all stripes with its lush, full-color illustrations, The Book gives us the momentous and surprising history behind humanity’s most important—and universal—information technology.
“Everybody who has ever read a book will benefit from the way Keith Houston explores the most powerful object of our time. And everybody who has read it will agree that reports of the book’s death have been greatly exaggerated.”—Erik Spiekermann, typographer

Baker & Taylor
Reveals how books and the materials that make them reflect the history of human civilization, tracing the development of writing, printing, illustrating, and binding to demonstrate the transition from cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls to the mass-distributed books of today.

Baker
& Taylor

The author of Shady Characters reveals how books and the materials that make them reflect the rich history and culture of human civilization, tracing the development of writing, printing, illustrating and binding to demonstrate the transition from cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls to the mass-distributed books of today.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, c2016
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780393244793
Branch Call Number: 002.09 HOU
Characteristics: xvii, 428 p. :,ill. (some col.) ;,22 cm.

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scribby
Jul 24, 2017

This is a history of the printed page, told with attention to detail and a dry wit (i.e. punny chapter titles). One particularly interesting element is the inclusion of designations for all of the standard concepts of modern printing (indent, drop cap, ornaments, etc.) where they appear in the text. Good for both the avid bibliophile and for someone who just happens to be curious and picks up this book.

m
mammothhawk229e
Jul 18, 2017

Offbeat non-fiction book divided into page (papyrus, parchment to paper), text (printing), illustrations (silent monks complain of working conditions to woodblock) & form (tied, sewed to glued).
Big ew on one lovely hardcover example that have tanned human skin.
Who knew paper size wasn't standardized into Reagan when government paper same as letter sized paper?
Not surprised on some inventors got shafted by the rich & powerful.

r
RBVanDyke
Jul 10, 2017

When I borrowed "The Book" from the SFPL I wasn't sure if it would hold my interest. It did. In fact it was a notably interesting and enjoyable read.

"The Book" not only provides a very informative history of the book, the book is a joy to hold. It reminded me, not that I needed to be reminded, what a pleasure it is to turn off the devices, not spend a second worrying whether an electronic reading device is sufficiently charged (actually I don't own a dedicated eReader), and enjoy a journey uninterrupted by incoming email, et cetera.

If you are like me a lifetime recreational reader, you'll enjoy The Book...

r
Rubicat
Mar 30, 2017

I had too many books come in a the same time and because there were several people waiting for this one, I had to return it before I could do more than page through it. It is a gorgeous book with the set up in which each part of the book and cover are labeled was wonderful. I was never aware that each part of each of the pages that precede the narrative have a name and a specific place beyond the title, author name and publisher's info. I am anxious for my request to come around again.

s
SBCubs
Nov 02, 2016

A book for true geeks/nerds. The history of the book. I loved it!

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