Paper: Paging Through History by Mark Kurlansky
In his book, Mark Kurlansky makes the continued case for paper in our digital age, and moreover, argues convincingly that paper will continue to stand the test of time
Paper: Paging Through History
Author of Cod, Salt and many more complex-titled social histories and fictions besides, Mark Kurlansky here takes on the whys and hows of papermaking through history – a lot of history.
His first and greatest achievement is in establishing that the use of paper accelerated the development of industry and commerce, rather than being an invention of necessity (ie stonecarving is hard work).
Understandably, the author makes the continued case for paper in our digital age, and moreover, argues convincingly that paper will continue to stand the test of time.
Predictably for a book that crosses much of Asia, ancient Egypt, early South American civilisations, the Arab world, Reformation Europe and beyond, it overreaches in places and is spotty in others.
Paper is nonetheless a kaleidoscopic history, an engaging gift book for trivia and history fans of all kinds. Its fractured approach makes it perfect reading to dip in to, and threatens to make a potted expert of its readers – but what harm? The more extolling the virtue of the printed word (and what it’s printed on), the better.