A History of the Book in 100 Books

 
9780712357562: A History of the Book in 100 Books

The ebook age has taken 'the book' to a turning point. But in fact, casting off old technologies and taking on new ones has been part of the history of the book since Egyptian times. At this crucial time for the future of books as we know them today, this volume tells the story of the book from the very beginning: From inscriptions on tombs to the first writings on papyrus; how scrolls gave way to the first bound 'codex' books in Roman times; from exclusive and expensive hand-scribed books, to the creation of movable type, and the invention of printing for the masses; and from the printed book to the digital book, the ebook reader...and beyond. Illustrating this story with lavish photography of some of the most treasured artefacts from the world's historic collections, A History of the Book in 100 Books traces mankind's very long quest to communicate ideas and knowledge.

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About the Author:

Roderick Cave is a printing historian and former library educator. His books include The Private Press (first published in 1971) and Impressions of Nature, a History of Nature Printing (British Library, 2010). Sara Ayad is an art historian

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction

In a time when talk about the death of the book is now trite, there are good reasons to look backwards at what books have been in the past, as well as at the many speculations about the future of written communication. Some journalists and librarians as well as computer enthusiasts believe that the coming of the e-book marks a total and complete revolution. They anticipate an imminent future of publishing that will be entirely electronic. Despite the continuing failure of the paperless office (so confidently predicted 20 years ago) to appear, they expect no paper, no printing; all information being accessed from images on a screen.

Perhaps the popularity of e-books is rising; perhaps the printed-paper book will disappear (just as the clay tablets of Babylon and the papyrus scrolls of ancient Egypt have long since dropped out of use). We are by no means persuaded that the future form of the book will be entirely electronic; what is certain is that, over the past 10,000 plus years of humankind's history, we have developed ways of preserving and transmitting information which are deeply embedded in our subconsciousness.

Our emotional connection to physical books will be clear from our selection. We have decided, reluctantly, not to include bookbinding or any consideration of newspapers and magazine publications in this book, important though they are. If we took a chronological approach, it would allow only one picture for every century, so we have had to be very selective in our choice of the books to illustrate. One or two books to represent drama? One for invention? How many for banned books? Choosing our 100 took a lot of thought and debate with people advising us.

We have not attempted to produce a collection of the 100 best books (however best may be defined). Nor the 100 earliest in this or that way. Nor the most famous, the most beautiful, the most influential or the most valuable; though these all have had an effect on our selection. Nor the most obvious, though it was hard to avoid selecting the earliest examples of printing in Asia and in Europe, and some other books.

Our principal in selecting books has been to range widely, with books from every continent except Antarctica. Books that illustrate the huge range of formats and styles, with books of string (khipu), or written on bone, bark or palm leaves as well as the better known clay tablets, papyrus scrolls and vellum or paper more familiar in Europe or North America. We have tried to select books that are characteristic of particular genres, but not necessarily the most obvious choice.

As the pictures in this volume show, we have passed over some books so well known that they needed no further publicity (no King James Bible, no Shakespeare). Instead, we are illustrating several other books equally important or influential in their milieu. Instead of the King James Bible, we include the Gustav Vasa Bible (so important for the spread of Lutheranism in the North, the formation of the modern Swedish language, and the spread of Germanic typography) to stand for all national Bibles.

It has been said that if you want to understand a particular area or period, you should not look only at the Great and the Good: you will learn much more from looking at the less great and the not very good. This volume has a mix of these, which are intended to stimulate readers' interest enough for them to go further.

In a period when more "real" printed books are being published, and it is becoming steadily easier to selfpublish, is the day of the printed book over? Our answer has to be found!

What is certain is that there will be more new developments, sometimes very different from (and better than) the e-books to be published. But even in the 21st century, as our illustrations show, some people are creating new forms of the written or printed book, using methods that may seem deliberately backward-looking and wayward, and ignoring digitization altogether. The traditional book will still be produced for a very long time yet.

Roderick Cave and Sara Ayad

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Descripción The British Library Publishing Division, 2014. Estado de conservación: New. This volume tells the story of the book from the very beginning, from inscriptions on tombs to the first writings on papyrus; to the digital book, the ebook reader. Num Pages: 284 pages, 250 colour. BIC Classification: HBTB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 215 x 262 x 26. Weight in Grams: 1228. . 2014. Hardcover. . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780712357562

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Descripción The British Library Publishing Division, United Kingdom, 2014. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The ebook age has taken the book to a turning point. But in fact, casting off old technologies and taking on new ones has been part of the history of the book since Egyptian times. At this crucial time for the future of books as we know them today, this volume tells the story of the book from the very beginning: From inscriptions on tombs to the first writings on papyrus; how scrolls gave way to the first bound codex books in Roman times; from exclusive and expensive hand-scribed books, to the creation of movable type, and the invention of printing for the masses; and from the printed book to the digital book, the ebook reader.and beyond. Illustrating this story with lavish photography of some of the most treasured artefacts from the world s historic collections, A History of the Book in 100 Books traces mankind s very long quest to communicate ideas and knowledge. Nº de ref. de la librería AAR9780712357562

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Descripción The British Library Publishing Division, United Kingdom, 2014. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The ebook age has taken the book to a turning point. But in fact, casting off old technologies and taking on new ones has been part of the history of the book since Egyptian times. At this crucial time for the future of books as we know them today, this volume tells the story of the book from the very beginning: From inscriptions on tombs to the first writings on papyrus; how scrolls gave way to the first bound codex books in Roman times; from exclusive and expensive hand-scribed books, to the creation of movable type, and the invention of printing for the masses; and from the printed book to the digital book, the ebook reader.and beyond. Illustrating this story with lavish photography of some of the most treasured artefacts from the world s historic collections, A History of the Book in 100 Books traces mankind s very long quest to communicate ideas and knowledge. Nº de ref. de la librería AAR9780712357562

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Descripción The British Library Publishing Division. Estado de conservación: New. This volume tells the story of the book from the very beginning, from inscriptions on tombs to the first writings on papyrus; to the digital book, the ebook reader. Num Pages: 284 pages, 250 colour. BIC Classification: HBTB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 215 x 262 x 26. Weight in Grams: 1228. . 2014. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9780712357562

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