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The Book on the Bookshelfby Henry Petroski
Synopses & Reviews
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.
Tracing the evolution of the book and its companion, the bookshelf, an intriguing study ranges from the scrolls of antiquity to the modern-day volume, explaining how the art of book storage evolved, and discusses such topics as libraries, bookselling, book collection, and book buying throughout history. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.
About the Author
\Henry Petroski is the Alexander S.Vesic Professor of Engineering and Professor of History at Duke University, where he also serves as chairman of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.
Table of Contents
1. Books on bookshelves — 2. From scrolls to codices — 3. Chests, cloisters, and carrels — 4. Chained to the desk — 5. Press of books — 6. Studying studies — 7. Up against the wall — 8. Books and bookshops — 9. Bookstack engineering — 10. Shelves that move — 11. Care of books.
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