What We Talk about When We Talk about Books: The History and Future of Reading
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About the Author
"As entertaining as it is insightful...Her contagious delight in books makes this book a delight."-- "Maya Jasanoff, author of The Dawn Watch"
"No one writes about books--and their bookness--with anything close to the daunting curiosity and dazzling acuity of the inimitable Leah Price. What We Talk About When We Talk About Books is a...bookshelf of delight and instruction, as entertaining as it is illuminating."-- "Jill Lepore, New York Times bestselling author "
"Leah Price's radiantly intelligent book makes us rethink and re-view the endlessly alive, endlessly shape-shifting and self-reinventing activity that is reading."-- "Neel Mukherjee, author of A State of Freedom"
No one writes about books-and their bookness-with anything close to the daunting curiosity and dazzling acuity of the inimitable Leah Price. What We Talk About When We Talk About Books is a rags to paper to Amazon Kindle bookshelf of delight and instruction, as entertaining as it is illuminating.-- "Jill Lepore, author of These Truths: A History of the United States"
Leah Price's radiantly intelligent book makes us rethink and re-view the endlessly alive, endlessly shape-shifting and self-reinventing activity that is reading. Its cracking readability -- when was the last time you had to disable the wifi for a book on books? -- should not disguise how cogently and coherently it is argued, and the depth of learning with which its arguments are meticulously substantiated. It is also profoundly witty, funny, and beautifully written (when was the last time you thought that about a book on books?). You emerge, after turning the last page, a smarter, better informed, joyous person.-- "Neel Mukherjee, Man Booker Prize-finalist author of The Lives of Others and A State of Freedom"
At once authoritative and accessible, Price's account busts many myths about both the past and the future of reading. Long may it keep us talking about books!-- "William H. Sherman, Director, Warburg Institute, University of London"
As entertaining as it is insightful, What We Talk About When We Talk About Books is part history, part social commentary, part memoir, and fully engaging. Leah Price pithily assesses the uses of books past and present, and upends assumptions about the future of books in a digital age. Her contagious delight in books makes this book a delight.-- "Maya Jasanoff, author of The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World"
A dizzying, myth-busting history of reading. Upends a whole toolbox of old saws about readers' habits.-- "Keith Houston, author of The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time"
Predictions of the death of the book weren't only greatly exaggerated; as Leah Price notes in What We Talk About When We Talk About Books, they were old news. The book has survived numerous death sentences in the past, and this time, as before, it's been the occasion to reinvent old practices of reading. What the Victorians called furniture books continue to adorn coffee tables and the Ikea shelves widened to accommodate them. People still hold books in their laps on couches and in coaches (enjoying the library atmosphere of Amtrak quiet cars). Self-help books have their roots the bibliotherapy proposed a century ago. It is still a very bookish world that we inhabit, and I know of no guide to it more witty and engaging than Leah Price, whose insights, erudition, and apercus had me dog-earing every other page.-- "Geoff Nunberg, resident linguist, NPR's Fresh Air"