Author: Keith Houston
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2016-08-22
“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 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.
Author: Nicholas A. Basbanes
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
Release Date: 1999-03-15
Genre: Literary Criticism
The passion to possess books has never been more widespread than it is today; indeed, obsessive book collecting remains the only hobby to have a disease named after it. A Gentle Madness, finalist for the 1995 National Book Critics Circle award, is an adventure among the afflicted. Richly anecdotal and fully documented, it combines the perspective of historical research with the immediacy of investigative journalism. Above all, it is a celebration of books and the people who have revered, gathered, and preserved them over the centuries.
Author: Nicholson Baker
Release Date: 2002-08-13
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
The ostensible purpose of a library is to preserve the printed word. But for fifty years our country’s libraries–including the Library of Congress–have been doing just the opposite, destroying hundreds of thousands of historic newspapers and replacing them with microfilm copies that are difficult to read, lack all the color and quality of the original paper and illustrations, and deteriorate with age. With meticulous detective work and Baker’s well-known explanatory power, Double Fold reveals a secret history of microfilm lobbyists, former CIA agents, and warehouses where priceless archives are destroyed with a machine called a guillotine. Baker argues passionately for preservation, even cashing in his own retirement account to save one important archive–all twenty tons of it. Written the brilliant narrative style that Nicholson Baker fans have come to expect, Double Fold is a persuasive and often devastating book that may turn out to be The Jungle of the American library system. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Michael J. F. Suarez
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2013-10-24
A concise edition of the highly acclaimed Oxford Companion to the Book, this book features the 51 articles from the Companion plus 3 brand new chapters in one affordable volume. The 54 chapters introduce readers to the fascinating world of book history. Including 21 thematic studies on topics such as writing systems, the ancient and the medieval book, and the economics of print, as well as 33 regional and national histories of 'the book', offering a truly global survey of the book around the world, the Oxford History of the Book is the most comprehensive work of its kind. The three new articles, specially commissioned for this spin-off, cover censorship, copyright and intellectual property, and book history in the Caribbean and Bermuda. All essays are illustrated throughout with reproductions, diagrams, and examples of various typographical features. Beautifully produced and hugely informative, this is a must-have for anyone with an interest in book history and the written word.
Cultural Writing.This newest book about the book by Granary Press is overwhelmingly desirable. It is the perfect gift, except that you won't want to give it away. There is no other current book I'd rather have in my library! Marjorie Perloff. A BOOK OF THE BOOK comprises works from about ninety writers, poets, painters, performers, scholars, critics, anthropologists and historians. Among the contributors are McCaffery/Nichol, Davidson, Waldman, Derrida, Jabes, Drucker, Dieter Roth, Alison Knowles, Thomas Vogler, Faith Ringgold and Charles Bernstein. Also included are a full-color double-gatefold facsimilie of the Cendrars/Delaunay La Prose du Transsiberien as well as a complete reprint of Jess's rarely seen O! first published by Hawk's Well in 1960. Illustrated throughout and indexed.
Author: Anne Trubek
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2016-09-06
The future of handwriting is anything but certain. Its history, however, shows how much it has affected culture and civilization for millennia. In the digital age, handwriting is less necessary than ever before, and indeed fewer and fewer schoolchildren are being taught how to write in cursive. Signatures--far from John Hancock's elegant model--have become scrawls. In her recent and widely discussed and debated essays, Anne Trubek argues that the decline and even elimination of handwriting from daily life does not signal a decline in civilization, but rather the next stage in the evolution of communication. Now, in The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting, Trubek uncovers the long and significant impact handwriting has had on culture and humanity--from the first recorded handwriting on the clay tablets of the Sumerians some four thousand years ago and the invention of the alphabet as we know it, to the rising value of handwritten manuscripts today. Each innovation over the millennia has threatened existing standards and entrenched interests: Indeed, in ancient Athens, Socrates and his followers decried the very use of handwriting, claiming memory would be destroyed, while Gutenberg's printing press ultimately overturned the livelihood of the monks who created books in the pre-printing era. And yet new methods of writing and communication have always appeared. Establishing a novel link between our deep past and emerging future, Anne Trubek offers a colorful lens through which to view our shared social experience.
Accompanied by more than 300 illustrations, most in full color, The Smithsonian Book of Books presents the history, the art, and the influence of books through all ages and cultures. Beginning with the ancient origins of writing, Olmert revisits great works of religion, science, and literature. 338 illustrations, 311 in color.
Author: Jack Lynch
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2016-02-23
"Knowledge is of two kinds," said Samuel Johnson in 1775. "We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." Today we think of Wikipedia as the source of all information, the ultimate reference. Yet it is just the latest in a long line of aggregated knowledge--reference works that have shaped the way we've seen the world for centuries. You Could Look It Up chronicles the captivating stories behind these great works and their contents, and the way they have influenced each other. From The Code of Hammurabi, the earliest known compendium of laws in ancient Babylon almost two millennia before Christ to Pliny's Natural History; from the 11th-century Domesday Book recording land holdings in England to Abraham Ortelius's first atlas of the world; from Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language to The Whole Earth Catalog to Google, Jack Lynch illuminates the human stories and accomplishment behind each, as well as its enduring impact on civilization. In the process, he offers new insight into the value of knowledge.
Author: Mai Al-Nakib
Publisher: A&C Black
Release Date: 2014-06-05
For fans of Alice Munro and Lorrie Moore. A young girl, renamed Amerika in honour of the US role in the liberation of Kuwait, finds her name has become a barometer of her country's growing hostility towards the West. A middle-aged man dying from cancer looks back on his extramarital affairs and the abiding forgiveness of his wife. The headlines tell of war, unrest and religious clashes. But if you look beyond them you will see life in the Middle East as it is really lived – adolescent love, the fragility of marriage, pain of the most quotidian kind. Mai Al-Nakib's luminous stories unveil the lives of ordinary people – and the power of objects to hold extraordinary memories.
Author: David Sax
Release Date: 2016-11-08
Genre: Business & Economics
One of Michiko Kakutani's (New York Times) top ten books of 2016 A funny thing happened on the way to the digital utopia. We've begun to fall back in love with the very analog goods and ideas the tech gurus insisted that we no longer needed. Businesses that once looked outdated, from film photography to brick-and-mortar retail, are now springing with new life. Notebooks, records, and stationery have become cool again. Behold the Revenge of Analog. David Sax has uncovered story after story of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and even big corporations who've found a market selling not apps or virtual solutions but real, tangible things. As e-books are supposedly remaking reading, independent bookstores have sprouted up across the country. As music allegedly migrates to the cloud, vinyl record sales have grown more than ten times over the past decade. Even the offices of tech giants like Google and Facebook increasingly rely on pen and paper to drive their brightest ideas. Sax's work reveals a deep truth about how humans shop, interact, and even think. Blending psychology and observant wit with first-rate reportage, Sax shows the limited appeal of the purely digital life-and the robust future of the real world outside it.
Author: Nicholas A. Basbanes
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Antiques & Collectibles
Presents a history of paper that traces its invention in China 1,800 years ago through its myriad applications in business, trade, and culture to illuminate paper's crucial role in political scandals, laws, and significant events.