The Book on the Bookshelf
By Henry Petroski
(Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780375706394, 304pp.)
Publication Date: September 12, 2000
List Price: $16.95*
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Most of us take for granted that our books are vertical on our shelves with the spines facing out, but Henry Petroski, inveterately curious engineer, didn't.As a result, readers are guided along the astonishing evolution from papyrus scrolls boxed at Alexandria to upright books shelved at the Library of Congress. Unimpeachably researched, enviably written, and charmed with anecdotes from Seneca to Samuel Pepys to a nineteenth-century bibliophile who had to climb over his books to get into bed, The Book on the Bookshelf is indispensable for anyone who loves books.
"For anyone interested in the craft of reading, [this book] is a compulsive necessity." --The New York Times Book Review
"A fascinating history of two related common objects, impeccably documented and beautifully illustrated." --Civilization
"After reading this book, you will not look at a book or a bookshelf in the same way." --Seattle Times
"If 'God is in the details,' then those seeking God should read Petroski's books." --Library Journal