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The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of…
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The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2016; vuoden 2016 painos)

Tekijä: Keith Houston (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
6241537,760 (4.11)14
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. "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."--Back cover.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:Library_Lin
Teoksen nimi:The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time
Kirjailijat:Keith Houston (Tekijä)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2016), Edition: Illustrated, 448 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto, Parhaillaan lukemassa
Arvio (tähdet):****
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The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time (tekijä: Keith Houston) (2016)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 15) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
I’ve been meaning to read this for a long time, even before I picked up Houston’s Shady Characters a few years ago. Although I had more fun reading that one, I’m glad I finally got to this meticulously researched history of books.
This book has everything—every little detail about the history of the book. There are nearly 80 pages dedicated to the origin and development of paper, from papyrus to parchment to paper in its various forms. So many interesting facts, and I fear many of them will fall out of my head. For some reason the one that springs to mind as I write this is that paper used to be made from old rags. Weird, right?
So besides all the stuff about paper, there’s a lot on the evolution of writing, from cuneiform to typesetting; the history of illustration in books; and the structure of books, from scrolls to codex.
One of my favorite chapters was “Ties That Bind: binding the paged book.” It was neat, because I could look at the book in my hand and see what he was describing, even when he was talking about techniques dating back 1,000 years. So even though in some respects I wish I’d had this on kindle so I could have highlighted, I’m glad I had the hardcover. And not only so I could study the binding—the design of the book is really cool. Every part is labeled like it’s in a diagram, it has a nifty cover, and the page color and font (11 point Adobe Jenson Pro Light, if you must know) are easy on the eyes.
It really is lovely. ( )
  Harks | Dec 17, 2022 |
The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time was well written and enjoyable. It focused on how cultures started writing and the tools and materials used to write.
I was a bit disappointed in it. Based on the cover, I had expected it would discuss the technical aspects of books and how they are used. For example, when did books start using titles, page numbers, footnotes, tables of contents, etc.? I also wanted a glossary describing the parts of a book (cover, binding, hinge, fore-edge, endpapers half title, etc.). My expectation was this would be a reference book, not just prose. ( )
  BibleQuestions | Oct 30, 2022 |
Keith Houston doesn't skip the details in his exploration of the history of the physical book as we know it today. He covers it all. In reading it, you will discover how we came to have the paper we use; the texts and ink; the illustrations; and the shape and sizes that are both common and not.

The book itself, as you read, is a lesson as well. Every introduction of a new element is clearly labeled, and he dives into murky waters to find where each one begins. Sometimes there are no clear answers. Sometimes there seem to be, but wait...not so fast! He points out where seemingly settled matters veer off into myth. Facts may be hard to nail down, but the stories are entertaining.

My only complaint was that so much space was given to processes that I sometimes became lost. I do not fault Houston for this, I have always had problems following formulas and directions. My knowledge of engineering is quite shallow. But I enjoyed it all the same and recommend it to anyone who cares deeply about books. ( )
  Library_Lin | Feb 9, 2022 |
I have to start by saying this poor book was an innocent bystander to the just-completed 2017 BookLikes-opoly game. That is the only reason it took me 2.5 months to read it; it certainly wasn't due to any shortcomings on the part of the subject or writing itself.

The Book is exactly what it says it is on the cover: a history of every physical aspect of the book as we know it today; from the creation of the writing surface (clay, wax, papyrus, parchment, paper) to the development of writing itself, the process of putting one on the other, and the evolution of the useable and practical units (scrolls, codices, etc.) of collection. Each part of what makes up the book is labeled, as can be seen on the cover itself. No part is ever labeled more than once so it doesn't become tedious.

Far from being the dry, academic dissertation my description makes it sound like, The Book is really well written and very easy reading. The author is knowledgeable and just relaxed enough and funny enough to remind you of a really good, relatable professor whose lectures you never mind attending. Enjoyable enough, even, that a few dropped articles from the text weren't quite enough for me to ding my rating. For those academically minded, there are very comprehensive notes and bibliography sections at the back.

I have the hardcover edition of this and it is beautiful. As close as you can come, I imagine, to a handmade book on a mass market scale. My only quibble is that in the spirit of showing the reader what a book is made of, the covers are left as the raw fibreboard; it looks nice but it's not going to be durable unless care is taken with the corners. I intend to take care, but still, I half wish they'd at least varnished the boards as a way of reinforcing those delicate corners.

If you not only love books for the stories they contain, but for the physical objects that they are, and you enjoy a bit of history, this book might be one for your permanent collection and it's very much worth having the physical hardcover edition - just make sure to watch those corners. ( )
  murderbydeath | Jan 18, 2022 |
If you have any interest in books as books, i.e. as a physical object, then The Book is the book for you. Weaving together the histories of paper, writing, illustration, printing, and book binding Houston delivers an epic tale that explains the cultures, individuals, and occasional humorous incidents that lead to the development of the object that changed the world. He also manages to use The Book itself as a practical exhibit in describing the technical aspects of how a book is made and why its design has remained essentially unchanged for millennia. An essential read for any bibliophile. ( )
  gothamajp | Oct 22, 2020 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 15) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Teoksen kanoninen nimi
Tiedot hollanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
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Omistuskirjoitus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
To my parents, Liz and Jim
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Introduction

This is a book about books.
Part 1
The Page

1
A Clean Sheet: The Invention of Papyrus
Ever since Napoleon swept into Egypt at the tail end of the eighteenth century, ushering in the modern era of Egyptology, the outside world has thrilled to successive revelations of golden death masks and boy kings; of beautiful queens and matchless libraries; and of million-ton pyramids aligned to the points of the compass with uncanny precision.
Sitaatit
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Confronted with an ivory sheet of taut, smooth vellum, it is easy to forget its origins in the flesh.
For all its preternatural smoothness and seductive appearance, though, parchment cannot escape its provenance. Whether it was made yesterday or a thousand years ago, a sheet of parchment is the end product of a bloody, protracted, and very physical process that begins with the death of a calf, lamb, or kid, and proceeds thereafter through a series of grimly anatomical steps until parchment emerges at the other end. Like laws and sausages, if you love parchment it is perhaps best not to see it being made.
This, then, is parchment: the pale, virginal product of a bloody manufacturing process; a delicate writing surface that can withstand desert heat and European chill for centuries or even millennia; the medium upon which ancient and medieval writers set down the most important religious, literary, and scientific tracts of their times. Write with a good pen on a piece of parchment and you may wish you never had to go back to paper again—so why are none of today's books printed on it?
Viimeiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
(Napsauta nähdäksesi. Varoitus: voi sisältää juonipaljastuksia)
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen kieli
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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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. "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."--Back cover.

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