More Details: Although we think we know what we mean by a “book,” new digital texts and reading devices are making us reconsider. A book has characters, letters and words and sometimes images. It can be read, but does it need to have a cover and a spine—and does it need to have what we think of as “pages”?More Details
We instinctively think that it will be printed, but that might not be so intrinsic to a book when we reflect upon its long and pre-printed history—or of the many different material forms of the book in different parts of the world, and their very different intended uses, whether instructional, devotional, as the vehicles of knowledge or entertainment, or sometimes simply as ritualistic.
All books can be read and most will be—in some fashion by different people with different skills, interests, and motivations—and under very different conditions. But a reader might never be found for some books—and not just those unsold copies currently sent in their millions to be pulped. Unopened books remain sardined on the shelves of great and historic mansions and institutions and even age neglected in a dusty corner of our own homes.
The appearance of portable computers, smartphones, and scrollable texts challenges assumptions about the make-up, effect, and purpose of books. We can reflect anew upon cuneiform tablets and ancient Assyrian libraries of books made of clay tablets, just as we do about books made not simply from paper or parchment but from bone or shell or bamboo or papyrus or leaves or micro-processors and LCD screens. Read More...Find More Book