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Home > News and views > A history of the book in seven works

A history of the book in seven works

Just what is a book? Academic, author and former ESU Chair Professor James Raven introduces us to seven different works revealing just some of the multitudinous forms in which books have appeared

You’re probably fairly confident that you know what a book is. It has words, a cover, and a spine. It might carry pictures. If it is a work of reference it will probably include a contents list and an index. And we instinctively think that it will be printed – or will it?  The appearance of portable computers, smartphones, and scrollable, interactive texts challenge our assumptions about the make-up, effect, and purpose of books – and it was ever thus. Ever since people carved clay tablets with styluses made of reeds, developments in communications have successively remodelled and reformed the book over time, as Professor James Raven will explain in his talk at Dartmouth House on Monday, 11 September. To whet your appetite, he’s picked seven choice examples illustrating the book’s incredible diversity, which you can read on our members’ hub here. To find out more about the benefits of becoming a member and the impact of your support, click here.

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