Some Book Reviews

Book Review 9 15 April 2020

The Book on the Bookshelf by Henry Petroki
Have you ever wondered where the idea of bookshelves came from or how books were made before Gutenberg invented his moveable type or how books were catalogued before the Dewey Decimal System came into being? This small volume is a tour de force through the history of all these aspects of reading and more starting, from scrolls in ancient times. Extensively researched and accompanied by old illustrations and prints, it provides detailed answers to all these questions that we never even think about.

Book Review 9  15 April 2020

 

The Book on the Bookshelf   by Henry Petroki

Have you ever wondered where the idea of bookshelves came from or how books were made before Gutenberg invented his moveable type or how books were catalogued before the Dewey Decimal System came into being? This small volume is a tour de force through the history of all these aspects of reading and more starting, from scrolls in ancient times. Extensively researched and accompanied by old illustrations and prints, it provides detailed answers to all these questions that we never even think about.

 The Surgeon of Crowthorne Simon Winchester
The film The Professor and the Madman (starring Mel Gibson and Sean Penn) was based on this book. The film follows the story of the two men who were the most instrumental in crating the original Oxford English Dictionary, an mammoth achievement is pre-computer days, made more so when one of them was a ‘madman.’ The book, however, also chronicles the evolution of dictionaries, in particular the OED, a subject none of us give any thought to. Both stories make fascinating reading. This book must surely become a classic.