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Books: A Living History (2011)

by Martyn Lyons(Favorite Author)
3.93 of 5 Votes: 1
160606083X (ISBN13: 9781606060834)
J. Paul Getty Museum
review 1: This a more or less straight history with very little bias, but the book deserves praise for both its beauty and its sweeping thoroughness. This last bit may sound like an oxymoron, but this is exactly the effect Lyons achieves. He manages to look at book history across time and space, structuring it around several evolutions (scroll to codex, manuscript to print, illiterate/exclusive to literate/accessible, expensive/rare to cheap/ubiquitous, and now print to digital). In each phase he talks about exemplary elements as well as outliers. Finally, the illustrations are lavish and evocative, depicting a print history that (however ironically) is mostly about words. I'm looking forward to adding it to my bookshelf.
review 2: Excellent review of the history of the
... morebook. It included a great cross-cultural review. I was fascinated by the review of the Mayan texts as well as the insight that the location of the printhouses during the age of enlightenment coincided with the development of science and technology. One forgets that knowlege once could be more easily controlled and that ideas travelled only as fast as a book could be carried. I can now look at my 3100 plus book collection (spanning from the mid 1700s on) from a new perspective. less
Reviews (see all)
An excellent introudction to the history of books, lavishly illustrated and handsomely designed.
Very interesting. Lots of great trivia and artwork.
This lovely book reads like a love letter to books.
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