PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V2 1999 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE




The E-Sylum:  Volume 2, Number 43, October 24, 1999, Article 7

THE EVOLUTION OF THE BOOKSHELF  

   After listening to a fascinating interview on National Public 
   Radio, I just had to seek out a copy of a newly published 
   book titled "The Book on the Bookshelf".   Specifically, this 
   is a book ABOUT bookshelves - something we bibliophiles 
   take for granted today.  But it wasn't always so, and this 
   book details the long and interesting evolution of how this 
   everyday item came to have the form it holds today.  The 
   author is Henry Petroski, and here's what the book's jacket 
   notes have to say:  

   "He has been called "the poet laureate of technology".  Now 
   Henry Petroski turns to the subject of books and bookshelves, 
   and wonders whether it was inevitable that books would come 
   to be arranged vertically as they are today on horizontal shelves. 
   As we learn how the ancient scroll became the codex became the 
   volume we are used to, we explore the ways in which the housing 
   of  books evolved.  Petroski takes us into the pre-Gutenberg 
   world, where books were so scarce they were chained to lecterns 
   for security.  He explains how the printing press not only changed 
   the way books were made and shelved, but also increased their 
   availability and transformed book readers into book owners and 
   collectors. He shows us that for a time books were shelved with 
   their spines in, and it was not until after the arrival of the modern 
   bookcase that the spines faced out."  

   "In delightful digressions, Petroski lets Seneca have his say on 
   "the evils of book collecting"; examines the famed collection of 
   Samuel Pepys (only three thousand titles: old discarded to make 
   room for new); and discusses bookselling, book buying, and book 
   collecting through the centuries." 

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
coinbooks.org Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V2 1999 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster