The Book by Keith Houston
A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time

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Houston also continually refers to the published version of the book he is writing, pointing out its similarities to others, ancient and contemporary. And we sometimes have to “unlearn” things we thought we knew—e.g., Gutenberg’s first book was not the Bible but rather a grammar text. A splendid, challenging mixture of information and fun.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

“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.

 

About Keith Houston

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Keith Houston is the creator of the Shady Characters blog. He and his wife live in Edinburgh, Scotland.
 
Published August 22, 2016 by W. W. Norton & Company. 448 pages
Genres: History, Computers & Technology, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Education & Reference, Science & Math, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Book
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 14 2016

Houston also continually refers to the published version of the book he is writing, pointing out its similarities to others, ancient and contemporary. And we sometimes have to “unlearn” things we thought we knew—e.g., Gutenberg’s first book was not the Bible but rather a grammar text. A splendid, challenging mixture of information and fun.

Read Full Review of The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Ex... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Aug 02 2016

Houston’s fixation with this object is a delight, and his understanding of how history is written and his clear delineation between speculation and established fact are very refreshing.

Read Full Review of The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Ex... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

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