Thursday 19 September 2019

Publication Day Review ~ The Secret Life of Books by Tom Mole

✨✨ Happy Publication Day ✨✨

Elliot & Thompson
19 September 2019

My thanks to the publishers and Alison Menzies for my copy of this lovely book

We love books. We take them to bed with us. They weigh down our suitcases when we go on holiday. We display them on our bookshelves or store them in our attics. We give them as gifts. We write our names in them. We take them for granted. And all the time, our books are leading a double life.

The Secret Life of Books is about everything that isn’t just the words. It’s about how books transform us as individuals. It’s about how books – and readers – have evolved over time. And it’s about why, even with the arrival of other media, books still have the power to change our lives.

In this illuminating account, Tom Mole looks at everything from binding innovations to binding errors, to books defaced by lovers, to those imprisoning professors in their offices, to books in art, to burned books, to the books that create nations, to those we’ll leave behind.

It will change how you think about books.

What did I think about it...

Any bibliophile will be excited about a book about books, and there's something very special about The Secret Life of Books, from the sumptuous red and gold beauty of its cover, to the very readable contents which explains everything you never knew you needed to know about books.

We know that books come in all shapes and sizes, from the pocket size Penguins of old, to the glossy majesty of coffee table books, they entice us with their words and pictures which promise a world full of magic and mystery. I'm not a great traveller, but from the comfort of my arm chair I can go forwards or backwards in time or I can take off and head to exotic locations, and I am able to do this thanks to the imagination of authors who share their stories with me. 

The Secret Life of Books is a wonderfully presented meander through the world of books, looking at what books actually do for us and how they transform us as individuals. And it's not just about stories or the facts contained within, it's about how books become books, how they are part of the treasure of our age - just think about the wealth of history and information which are contained within our libraries, and of the prestigious books and ancient texts which make up our shared history.

The author writes really well and brings his thoughts and feeling about books to life, capturing the very essence of the emotional meaning of books. There is no doubt that our world would be all the poorer without the absolute treasure of books and all the magic that they contain.

If there's a bibliophile in your life, The Secret Life of Books would be a great gift. It's published by Elliot & Thompson and is out today 😊 📖

About the Author

Tom Mole is a professor of English Literature and book History at the University of Edinburgh where he runs the Centre for the History of the Book. He has taught at Universities in the UK and Canada, and has lectured widely in Europe,Australia and North America. he has written or edited several volumes about books and literature, including What the Victorians Made of Romanticism, which won the 2018 Saltire prize for Research Book of the Year. he lives in Edinburgh with his wife and young daughter.

Twitter @ProfTomMole #TheSecretsLifeOfBooks


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