Books as Objects Archives - The Millions

January 24, 2017

The Physical Book Will Surely Endure: But Will It Endure for the Right Reason? 8


As an empirical matter, reading on a tablet cannot remotely approach the sensual literary experience offered by an old-fashioned book. The latter is, I’d venture, intrinsically more pleasurable than the former, not unlike the intrinsic difference between high quality toilet paper and the sandpaper stuff used in bus stations.

April 11, 2016

Judging Books by Their Covers 2016: US vs. UK 5


Only a fool would think these covers came from different countries. They were clearly designed in alternate dimensions.

February 11, 2016

The Private Library: What Books Reveal About Their Readers 5


On a page of Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the HMS Beagle Round the World, Mark Twain wrote: “Can any plausible excuse be furnished for the crime of creating the human race?”

November 16, 2015

The Bard’s Book? An Epic eBay Buy 1


If any fragment with Shakespeare’s handwriting came to light, it would generate international headlines, and that scrap would be worth millions. In this sense, Shakespeare truly is the “holy grail” of the rare book world.

March 25, 2015

The Weight of Knowledge: On Moving Books 9


It would be trickier to decide whom to put in the adult diaper boxes.

March 24, 2015

Praise the Colophon: Twenty Notes on Type 3


I call for the return of colophons. Colophons can send us back into books for another level of reading. If we love books, that second reading might be ecstatic in the same way good writing can lift us.

March 23, 2015

Ink on Paper: On the Beauty of Typewritten Book Covers 3


The reason these typewritten book covers have caught my eye and captured my heart is because they’ve so ingeniously captured the essence of the writing process — and the central truth that no piece of writing is ever truly finished.

February 12, 2015

Calendars, Timelines, and Collages: Mapping the Imaginary 6


I got curious about the other visual aids that novelists create to manage their books, so I asked around and gathered a variety of notebook pages, diagrams, and timelines.

February 10, 2015

Merging Two Loves: Cover Art Reimagined 3


In an effort to merge two loves of mine — writing and photography — I recently began this photo series that pairs snippets of novels with fun visuals that expand upon their cover art.

February 6, 2015

Judging Books by Their Covers 2015: US Vs. Netherlands 12


I was recently looking at the covers of Dutch-language books. Despite our different cultures, we share many overlaps in our literary taste. I hoped that I could draw some conclusions about those tastes by comparing book covers. After spending way too much time on the task, I conclude that I can’t.