Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The World of Books - from scrolls, to books with cover and spine and then eBooks

This funny video "Introducing the Book" reminded me of an enjoyable book I read about three years ago: Henry Petroski's Book on the Bookshelf (1999) which gives a captivating account of the evolution of the physical design of books from stone tablets, the papyrus and the format we are most familiar with, the spines. Written from the point of view of the design of bookshelves (bookcases, as they say Downunder) by an author who happens to be an engineer, this fascinating read made me appreciate books more (not to mention the shelves they are orderly arranged in). Reading a book is still one of life's great pleasures. Nothing beats that tactile experience of turning pages while nose deep reading a book.