A study of books through history is a study of human history. In The History of the Book in 100 Books, the author explores 100 books that have played a critical role in the creation and expansion of books and all that they bring -- literacy, numeracy, expansion of kwledge, religion, political theory, oppression, liberation, and much more. The book is ordered chrologically and divided thematically. Each of the 100 sections focuses on one book that represents a particular development in the evolution of books and in turn, world history and society. Abundant photographs inform and embellish. Here are some of the themes discussed: In the Beginning -- first human scratches on cave walls, cuneiform tablets, papyrus books, the oldest table of prime numbers Eastern Approaches -- 1,000 years before Europe, the Far East -publishes- books using paper and other writing surfaces in multiple -- in one case 11,000 -- volumes The Great Classics -- the emergence of Aesop's Fables over 2,000 years ago; the first cookbook, by Apicius, reveals the excesses of the Roman empire Medieval Worlds and the Book -- the illuminated Book of Kells survives Viking raids; Ptolemy puts the world on a map; the miraculous beauty of the Prayer Books and Books of Hours Light From the East -- the oldest printed book of all: Diamond Sutra; the first vel, Tale of Genji (written by a woman less); the first book of astromy and the first book of anatomy Wheels of Change -- a period of firsts: Gutenberg invents moveable type; the first blockbuster; the first joke book; the first printing in Africa; printing in Arabic; first printed music Print and Steam -- techlogy puts photography in books; newspapers publish fiction in installments; enter Baedecker, the archetypical travel guide; celebrity cooking hits the page The Book in the Turbulent 20th Century -- public libraries spark an information explosion; the advent of mechanized copying; revolutionary book design; topic is off limits; the publishing industry Digitization and the Future of the Book -- e-book publishing intersects with a return to handcrafted books; manga, redefining the book. This book takes a singular approach that will appeal to astute readers. It will have a wide and diverse readership.
Roderick Cave is a print historian and librarian who has worked with rare book collections and developed information science courses in libraries and universities around the world. He is the author of Impressions of Nature: A History of Nature Printing. Sara Ayad is an art historian and picture researcher, with a special interest in book history.
Professor Division of Information Studies Roderick Cave, Sara Ayad