For over five hundred years in the West, a particular form of the book-the printed codex-has been woven into the fabric of our lives. It has been the default medium for publicly circulating information and entertainment, and has structured the work, leisure and religious devotion of countless people. Now, as the cultural centrality of the printed book is challenged, we are prompted to reassess its value and its place in the history of media change.
Readable but rooted in current scholarship, this introductory guide to book history tries not to privilege any one disciplinary perspective or historical period. Rather, the guide and its accompanying anthology aim to help the reader to find his or her bearings within the field, and to provide a map with which to navigate book history more widely.
Publisher: Broadview Press Ltd
Number of pages: 200
Weight: 295 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 15 mm
"This is a lucid and compendious introduction-suitable for undergraduates, graduate students, and more advanced scholars-to the production and dissemination of printed books, with a substantial concluding chapter on digital textuality and the co-existence of printed and digital books. A particular strength of BIHB is that it approaches its subject from multiple perspectives: historical, technological, and theoretical. Its purview not only extends across the `four epochs' of the book-from the development of the manuscript codex to the arrival of the digital `media ecology'-but includes materials and techniques used in printing texts and images, the physical aspects of the book (essential information for bibliographical description), the evolution of reading practices, different schools of bibliographical and editorial theory (very useful in teaching students how to use scholarly editions critically), and the impact of digitization on publication and reading. Throughout the emphasis is on processes of mediation, reminding students that the relationship between writer and reader is always conditioned by technological, economic, and ideological factors, regardless of the textual medium."
-Nicholas Halmi, University of Oxford