Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time, The

Keith Houston
“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, typographerWe 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. 71 color illustrations

Reviews

Reviewed: 2017-01-02
Not the right book for me but could be great for someone who *really* loves books. I enjoy books about books and 'The Book' promised to be a nuts and bolts look at what makes a book. From the pages to the ink to the binding to how a book is formatted, etc. it's all here.
 
Houston starts from the beginning with a look at papyrus and how it was made. That's how far down deep we get into it to get an idea. And while for the right person this might be a great look, for me this is not something that appeals to me at all.
 
In some ways this is a book that is the opposite of 'The Caped Crusade' which I read recently. For TCC I liked how it was to the point and we did not get too bogged down with the creators, illustrators, storytellers of Batman's story. For me I tend not to like when authors go into long histories of the people behind the story, in this case, the book. This bogged down my reading of the text and it just did not work for me.
 
That said, there is good information in the book and for the right person this is probably something that would really appeal to them. It might be a very niche book that appeals to a very specific audience, one that I am not a part of. No big deal for me but for a layperson this might not be a text that is right for you.
 
Borrowed from the library which was right for me. Recommend you do the same unless this is a very specific field you enjoy or use for work, etc.
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