Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Technology of Books

Nicole Howard, The Book: The Life Story of a Technology (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009)is a no-frills, compact history of how the technology of printing and the notion of the book has evolved from clay tablets to the e-book. "By examining the book as a technology," she writes, "we get the best example of how profoundly information and media technology affect culture and history, and how vital the technology of the book has been to cultural and intellectual change" (p. ix). Howard does not get bogged down in debates about the future of print or that of the book, but provides excellent examples of how the notion of the book has persisted and the various technological changes have built one on the other.

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