The Books Portal
A book is a medium for recording information in the form of writing or images, typically composed of many pages (made of papyrus, parchment, vellum, or paper) bound together and protected by a cover. The technical term for this physical arrangement is codex (plural, codices). In the history of hand-held physical supports for extended written compositions or records, the codex replaces its immediate predecessor, the scroll. A single sheet in a codex is a leaf, and each side of a leaf is a page.
As an intellectual object, a book is prototypically a composition of such great length that it takes a considerable investment of time to compose and a still considerable, though not so extensive, investment of time to read. This sense of book has a restricted and an unrestricted sense. In the restricted sense, a book is a self-sufficient section or part of a longer composition, a usage that reflects the fact that, in antiquity, long works had to be written on several scrolls, and each scroll had to be identified by the book it contained. So, for instance, each part of Aristotle's Physics is called a book. In the unrestricted sense, a book is the compositional whole of which such sections, whether called books or chapters or parts, are parts.
The intellectual content in a physical book need not be a composition, nor even be called a book. Books can consist only of drawings, engravings, or photographs, or such things as crossword puzzles or cut-out dolls. In a physical book, the pages can be left blank or can feature an abstract set of lines as support for ongoing entries, e.g., an account book, an appointment book, an autograph book, a notebook, a diary, or a sketchbook. Some physical books are made with pages thick and sturdy enough to support other physical objects, like a scrapbook or photograph album. Books may be distributed in electronic form as e-books and other formats.
Although in ordinary academic parlance a monograph is understood to be a specialist academic work, rather than a reference work on a single scholarly subject, in library and information science monograph denotes more broadly any non-serial publication complete in one volume (book) or a finite number of volumes (even a novel like Proust's seven-volume In Search of Lost Time), in contrast to serial publications like a magazine, journal, or newspaper. An avid reader or collector of books is a bibliophile or colloquially, "bookworm". A shop where books are bought and sold is a bookshop or bookstore. Books are also sold elsewhere. Books can also be borrowed from libraries. Google has estimated that as of 2010, approximately 130,000,000 distinct titles had been published. In some wealthier nations, the sale of printed books has decreased because of the increased usage of e-books.
Le Père Goriot (English: Father Goriot or Old Goriot) is an 1835 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), included in the Scènes de la vie privée section of his novel sequence La Comédie humaine. Set in Paris in 1819, it follows the intertwined lives of three characters: the elderly doting Goriot; a mysterious criminal-in-hiding named Vautrin; and a naive law student named Eugène de Rastignac.Originally published in serial form during the winter of 1834-35, Le Père Goriot is widely considered as Balzac's most important novel. It marks the first serious use by the author of characters who had appeared in other books, a technique that distinguishes Balzac's fiction and makes La Comédie humaine unique among bodies of work. The novel is also noted as an example of his realist style, using minute details to create character and subtext.The novel takes place during the Bourbon Restoration, which brought about profound changes in French society; the struggle of individuals to secure upper-class status is ubiquitous in the book.
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Chinua Achebe (; born Albert Chin?al?m?g? Achebe, 16 November 1930 - 21 March 2013) was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic. His first novel Things Fall Apart (1958), often considered his masterpiece, is the most widely read book in modern African literature.
Raised by his parents in the Igbo town of Ogidi in southeastern Nigeria, Achebe excelled at school and won a scholarship to study medicine, but changed his studies to English literature at University College (now the University of Ibadan). He became fascinated with world religions and traditional African cultures, and began writing stories as a university student. After graduation, he worked for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service (NBS) and soon moved to the metropolis of Lagos. He gained worldwide attention for his novel Things Fall Apart in the late 1950s; his later novels include No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966), and Anthills of the Savannah (1987). Achebe wrote his novels in English and defended the use of English, a "language of colonisers", in African literature. In 1975, his lecture "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness" featured a criticism of Joseph Conrad as "a thoroughgoing racist"; it was later published in The Massachusetts Review amid some controversy. Read more...
||Gutenberg, your printing press has been violated by this evil book, Mein Kampf!
|-- Friedrich Kellner
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The following are images from various book-related articles on Wikipedia.
Cloth book cover with attached paper panel, mimicking half leather binding
European output of manuscripts 500-1500
Scheme of common book design
Jikji, Selected Teachings of Buddhist Sages and Seon Masters, the earliest known book printed with movable metal type, 1377. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris.
Early 20th-century leather book cover, with gold leaf ornamentation
Birthday Book Printing, the fourth of the six Walk of Ideas sculptures displayed in Berlin during 2006, represents a pile of modern codex books.
The spine of the book is an important aspect in book design, especially in the cover design. When the books are stacked up or stored in a shelf, the details on the spine is the only visible surface that contains the information about the book. In a book store, it is often the details on the spine that attract the attention first.
Sammelband of three alchemical treatises, bound in Strasbourg by Samuel Emmel c. 1568, showing metal clasps and leather covering of boards
Woman holding wax tablets in the form of the codex. Wall painting from Pompeii, before 79 AD.
Traditionally sewn book opened flat.
European output of printed books c. 1450-1800
Book conservators at the State Library of New South Wales, 1943
Hardbound book with half leather binding (spine and corners) and marbled boards.
Rebacking saving original spine, showing one volume finished and one untouched
An author portrait of Jean Miélot writing his compilation of the Miracles of Our Lady, one of his many popular works.
Hardbound book spine stitching.
Three Sophie Calle books with different titling orientations: ascending (left), descending (middle) and upright (right)
Marbled book board from a book published in London in 1872
A traditional bookbinder at work
European output of books 500-1800
A 15th-century Incunable. Notice the blind-tooled cover, corner bosses and clasps.
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