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Books: A Living History Hardcover – October 11, 2011
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"In this sumptuously illustrated history of the book, Lyons covers a millennia of changes, from ancient Mesopotamian carvings to Gutenberg's innovations in printing, through the computer age and the advent of the Internet and e-readers."—Publishers Weekly
"Besides giving us a visual journey of the book as a beautiful, aesthetic object, Lyons also shows how influential the book has been in shaping human history for 2,500 years."—Shelf Awareness
“An excellent introduction to the history, terminology, and trends in writing and reading books.”—Fine Books & Collections
“An ambitious, beautifully illustrated work.”—Choice
“A profusion of bibliophilic eye-candy.”—College & Research Library News
About the Author
Martyn Lyons is professor of history at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and the author of A History of Reading and Writing in the Western World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and Reading Culture and Writing Practices in Nineteenth-Century France (University of Toronto Press, 2008).
Top Customer Reviews
Part of the joy of books for me is the feel, the smell & intimacy of reading a book. I have a Kindle App on my iPad & iPhone & I love reading on these devices too...but a book is special. I enjoyed the reading experience for all the intangible reasons that mean books will be with us for the foreseeable future. Great proportions, colour, paper and fine writing. It was a good guest during these holidays.
The book is well presented with great illustrations & production values. The author writes well & delivers insight. Clearly the author has researched deeply & thought about what needed to be said & how to say it. The feeling I have is that the text has been edited down to fit the required space. I think the author has much more to say.
This title has all the elements of a book to be read, enjoyed & merits a in my library. That's all I can ever ask
There are lots of interesting photos such as one showing Nazis burning books written by Jews and one showing British Muslims burning Salman Rushdie's book; see also the picture of a poster exhorting workers to read that I posted in the picture gallery; the author remarked that the pious hope of public librarians was that workers could develop themselves through reading serious literature, but alas all that the workers were interested in was reading light stuff.
What I like were photos of book covers when the books were first printed. (See example of The Three Musketeers in the picture gallery that I posted.)
I believe even most knowledgable book - lovers will learn something and greatly enjoy this delightedly illustrated work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A perfect book for booklovers. It tells the history of the book up to our days in an elegant and simple style and is richly illustrated. A treat for the mind and for the eyes.Published on April 30, 2013 by G-L-O-R-I-A
So I'm using this book for an online class and I must say that I absolutely love it! I've always had a passion for books and this class has helped me to understand how the books... Read morePublished on February 6, 2013 by megan
Martyn Lyons, educated at the University of Oxford and widely known as a leading historian of the book, offers a fascinating survey of the printed word in "Books: A Living... Read morePublished on October 9, 2012 by Patrice Fagnant-macarthur
I really enjoy reading this book. I got it for Christmas and read it in 3 days.
It is a nice historical journey in the development of books. Read more