The Book on the Bookshelf
From the author of the highly praised The Pencil and The Evolution of Useful Things comes another captivating history of the seemingly mundane: the book and its storage.Most of us take for granted that our books are vertical on our shelves with the spines facing out, but Henry Petroski,... show more
From the author of the highly praised The Pencil and The Evolution of Useful Things comes another captivating history of the seemingly mundane: the book and its storage.Most of us take for granted that our books are vertical on our shelves with the spines facing out, but Henry Petroski, inveterately curious engineer, didn't. As a result, readers are guided along the astonishing evolution from papyrus scrolls boxed at Alexandria to upright books shelved at the Library of Congress. Unimpeachably researched, enviably written, and charmed with anecdotes from Seneca to Samuel Pepys to a nineteenth-century bibliophile who had to climb over his books to get into bed, The Book on the Bookshelf is indispensable for anyone who loves books.
Publish date: September 12th 2000
Publisher: Vintage Books
Pages no: 304
Edition language: English
, Books About Books
competent rather than stunning, inclusive rather than unified, -- and written, most probably, under the simple rubric, 'a book about books has to get some readers, engineer Henry Petroski can write, but doesn't stun or immediately derive a rabid following. much of the book is concerned with bookshel...
This is a history of bookshelves, and how people have been organizing books since the time we had books as scrolls. His main argument is that the book shelf evolved as people needed better ways to store and arrange books; it came forth out of necessity. The idea is an intriguing one, and there is a ...
If I hadn't worked in a university library for 4 years, I might have found the book a bit more enjoyable; as such, I would not recommend this book to biblioholics, as you probably well versed in bibliohistory already.
Realized my inner-book-nerd while reading this. This is not so much about what's in the book, more about how the book is constructed, shelved and shared. Despite savoring every page (and rereading the occasional chapter), still feel the need to reread. Totally not what I expected.
This book has been sitting -- where else? -- on my bookshelf for a couple years, and I've just cracked it open in the past week. It's a very enjoyable walk through the development of furniture that houses books (and papyri, etc. in ages past). In fact, it made me want to create an installation of a ...
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