A fascinating history of two related common objects - perhaps the greatest technological advances of the last two thousand years: the making and storing of books - from papyrus scrolls to precious medieval codices to the book as we know it, from the great library at Alexandria to monastic cells to the Library of Congress.
As writing advanced, and with it broader literacy, the development of the book was seemingly inevitable. And as books became more common, the question of where and how to store them became more pertinent. But how did we come from continuous sheets rolled on spools to the ubiquitous portable item you hold in your hand. And how did books come to be stored and displayed vertically and spine out on shelves? Henry Petroski answers these and virtually any other questions we might have about books as he contemplates the history of the book on the bookshelf with his inimitable subtle analysis and intriguing detail.