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.
“Mr. Houston savors evocative detail. . . . As befits its subject, The Book is pleasingly designed―with an offbeat self-consciousness about its sturdy appearance―and Mr. Houston’s unapologetic nerdiness is matched by a jaunty style. . . . Mr. Houston is an eager, affable guide, and his detailed history is a welcome reminder that this ‘unrepentantly analog contraption’ is one of the truly great pieces of technology.” ~ Henry Hitchings – Wall Street Journal
“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
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