Digital-age pundits warn that as our appetite for books dwindles, so too do the virtues in which printed, bound objects once trained us: the willpower to focus on a sustained argument, the curiosity to look beyond the day's news, the willingness to be alone. The shelves of the world's great libraries, though, tell a more complicated story. Examining the wear and tear on the books that they contain, English professor Leah Price finds scant evidence that a golden age of reading ever existed. From the dawn of mass literacy to the invention of the paperback, most readers already skimmed and multitasked.
Tracing the complete story of reading from the age when symbol first became sign through to the electronic texts of the present day, this text offers a sweeping view across time and geography of our evolving relationship with text.
Which famous author died of caffeine poisoning? Why was Alice's Adventures in Wonderland banned in China? Who was the first British writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature? What was Truman Capote superstitious about? Here is a light-hearted book about books and the people who write them for all lovers of literature.
Scholars have been puzzling over the "future of the book" since Marshall McLuhan's famous maxim "the medium is the message" in the early 1950s. McLuhan famously argued that electronic media was creating a global village in which books would become obsolete. Such views were ahead of their time, but today they are all too relevant as declining sales, even among classic texts, have become a serious matter in academic publishing.
The Reader in the Book is concerned with a particular aspect of the history of the book, an archeology and sociology of the use of margins and other blank spaces. One of the most commonplace aspects of old books is the fact that people wrote in them, something that, until very recently, hasinfuriated modern collectors and librarians. But these inscriptions constitute a significant dimension of the book's history, and what readers did to books often added to their value.
In Thinking Outside the Book, Augusta Rohrbach works through the increasing convergences between digital humanities and literary studies to explore the meaning and primacy of the book as a literary, material, and cultural artifact.
At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book--that string of confused, alien ciphers--shivered into meaning, and at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader. Noted essayist and editor Alberto Manguel moves from this essential moment to explore the six-thousand-year-old conversation between words and that hero without whom the book would be a lifeless object: the reader.
Amid radical transformation and rapid mutation in the nature, transmission, and deployment of information and communications, Around the Book offers a status report and theoretically nuanced update on the traditions and medium of the book. What, it asks, are the book's current prospects?
Bringing together research from a variety of countries and periods, this volume introduces readers to the diverse approaches used to recover the evidence of reading through history in different societies, and asks whether reading practices are always conditioned by specific local circumstances or whether broader patterns might emerge.
Reading has a history. But how can we recover it? This volume brings together original research essays focusing on the history of reading in the British Isles, using evidence ranging from library records to Mass Observation surveys to highlight the social factors that influence a seemingly private, individual activity.
We inhabit a textually super-saturated and increasingly literate world. This volume encourages readers to consider the diverse methodologies used by historians of reading globally, and indicates how future research might take up the challenge of recording and interpreting the practices of readers in an increasingly digitized society.
A Few Good Books will help you build a solid foundation in the theory and practice of readers' advisory and learn how exciting new Library 2.0 technologies, including tags, clouds, e-books, VR, and other digital formats will enhance your programs.
Martyn Lyons surveys the changing relationships enjoyed by men and women with the written word, from early times to the present day. He provides a highly-readable account of the social history of reading and writing, relating it to key historical moments such as the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Enlightenment.
Inspired by the process of creating a library for his fifteenth-century home near the Loire, in France, Alberto Manguel, the acclaimed writer on books and reading, has taken up the subject of libraries. This personal, deliberately unsystematic, and wide-ranging book offers a captivating meditation on the meaning of libraries.
Reading, and the manifold signs of reading, have become one of the most dynamic areas of research in book history. The reader as consumer and owner, as well as participant in the construction of new meanings, is the subject of these original essays. Specialists in literature, art history and book history investigate the annotations, marginal marks, extra-illustration and other forms of evidence left by readers.
Understanding Women's Magazines investigates the changing landscape of women's magazines. Anna Gough-Yates focuses on the successes, failures and shifting fortunes of a number of magazines including Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Frank, New Woman and Red and considers the dramatic developments that have taken place in women's magazine publishing in the last two decades.
The contributions to this volume address important issues about books and their users in the 15th century. A unifying theme is the complex relationships between producers - be they authors, printers or decorators - the economic conditions of book distribution, and the requirements of readers or other users of books.
Augustine of Hippo was the most prolific and influential writer on reading between antiquity and the Renaissance, though he left no systematic treatise on the subject. Using Augustine as the touchstone, Brian Stock considers the evolution of the meditative reader within Western reading practices from classical times to the Renaissance. He looks to the problem of self-knowledge in the reading culture of late antiquity; engages the related question of ethical values and literary experience in the same period; and reconsiders Erich Auerbach's interpretation of ancient literary realism.
Reading, like any human activity, has a history. Modern reading is a silent and solitary activity. Ancient reading was usually oral, either aloud, in groups, or individually, in a muffled voice. This book explains how a change in writing--the introduction of word separation--led to the development of silent reading during the period from late antiquity to the fifteenth century.