The Book on the Bookshelf (Paperback)
From the author of the highly praised The Pencil and The Evolution of Useful Things comes another captivating history of the seemingly mundane: the book and its storage.
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.
About the Author
Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University. He has written broadly on the topics of design, success and failure, and the history of engineering and technology. His fifteen books on these subjects include To Engineer Is Human, The Pencil, The Evolution of Useful Things, Success through Failure and The Essential Engineer. In addition to his books, which have been translated into more than a dozen languages, Petroski has written numerous general-interest articles for publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, and he writes regular columns for both American Scientist and ASEE Prism. Petroski is a distinguished member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and is a fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Institution of Engineers of Ireland. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.
"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