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What We Talk about When We Talk about Books: The History and Future of Reading

Leah Price

In encounters with librarians, booksellers, and activists who are reinventing old ways of reading, Price offers fresh hope to bibliophiles and literature lovers alike.

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Book Information

Publisher: Basic Books
Publish Date: 08/20/2019
Pages: 224
ISBN-13: 9780465042685
ISBN-10: 0465042686
Language: English

What We're Saying

August 29, 2019

Leah Price's book explores the history of books and our relationship to them, explaining how the books we read have always changed and evolved as we do. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

Reports of the death of reading are greatly exaggerated
Do you worry that you've lost patience for anything longer than a tweet? If so, you're not alone. Digital-age pundits warn that as our appetite for books dwindles, so too do the virtues in which printed, bound objects once trained us: the willpower to focus on a sustained argument, the curiosity to look beyond the day's news, the willingness to be alone. The shelves of the world's great libraries, though, tell a more complicated story. Examining the wear and tear on the books that they contain, English professor Leah Price finds scant evidence that a golden age of reading ever existed. From the dawn of mass literacy to the invention of the paperback, most readers already skimmed and multitasked. Print-era doctors even forbade the very same silent absorption now recommended as a cure for electronic addictions. The evidence that books are dying proves even scarcer. In encounters with librarians, booksellers and activists who are reinventing old ways of reading, Price offers fresh hope to bibliophiles and literature lovers alike.

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