From the first hand-written manuscripts, through the invention of the printing press, following the history of books is an educational and enlightening journey. Read more about how the book has changed through time, and why books are still such an important part of our lives, even after all these centuries.
by Nicholas A. Basbanes. HarperCollins. From the publisher: "In vivid detail, Basbanes examines the many materials that have been used over the centuries to record information--among them clay tablets, papyrus scrolls, slabs of stone, palm leaves, animal skins, and hammered sheets of gold and copper. Also discussed are the various debates that continue to rage about preservation, which may mean saving and storing books on paper indefinitely, or as electronic data, which are by nature ephemeral."
2. The Book on the Bookshelfby Henry Petroski. Knopf. From the publisher: "Petroski takes us into the pre-Gutenberg world, where books were so scarce they were chained to lecterns for security. He explains how the printing press not only changed the way books were made and shelved, but also increased their availability and transformed book readers into book owners and collectors."
3. The Evolution of the Bookby Frederick G. Kilgour. Oxford University Press. From the publisher: "Distinguished scholar and library systems innovator Frederick Kilgour tells a five-thousand-year story in this exciting work, a tale beginning with the invention of writing and concluding with the emerging electronic book. Calling on a lifetime of interest in the growth of information technology, Kilgour brings a fresh approach to the history of the book..."
by Henri-Jean Martin, Lydia G. Cochrane (Translator). University of Chicago Press. From the publisher: "Cultural history on a grand scale, this immensely readable book--the summation of decades of study by one of the world's great scholars of the book--is the story of writing from its very beginnings to its recent transformations through technology."
by Michael Olmert. Smithsonian. From the publisher: "Through glorious illustrations from library collections around the globe, you'll discover a wealth of book lore in these pages, and gain a new appreciation for the role of books in human society, from our earliest attempts at writing and recording information to the newest electronic books; from sumptuous illuminated and bejeweled medieval manuscripts to Gutenberg and the invention of movable type..."
6. A Bibliographic History of the Bookby Joseph Rosenblum. Scarecrow Press. From the publisher: "Rosenblum provides the student of the book with a selective guide to a growing discipline. Emphasis is on more recent works, though classics are included regardless of age. The four sections focus on, but are not restricted to, the book in the West."
by William A. Katz. Scarecrow Press. From the publisher: "From cave paintings to computers, this overview of the history of books and communication is written for the layperson and student. It provides clear information on how books shaped and reflected major social, political, and literary developments. As a general guide, it moves from the earliest writing in the Middle East and Egypt to Greece, Rome, and early Christian contributions to book production and literacy."
by David Diringer. Dover Publications. From the publisher: "Rich authoritative study of the book before Gutenberg. Nearly 200 photographic facsimiles of priceless documents. Comprehensive."
by Warren Chappell, and Robert Bringhurst. Hartley & Marks. From the publisher: "'A Short History of the Printed Word' makes plain the evolution, impact and development of the printed word as we know it. Covering the earliest forms of the letters of the alphabet, to graphic technology today, this revised classic is an invaluable guide for designers, students, and typophiles."
by Scott E. Casper (Editor). University of Massachusetts Press. From the publisher: "A collection of primary source materials and original essays, 'Perspectives on American Book History' is the first text designed for the growing number of courses in American print culture, as well as a unique supplement for courses in American literature and history."