Books like The Book by Keith Houton will never go out of fashion. It is an informative history about the book. It is very American in its perspective especially when it comes to the history of printing presses and mass prodcution of books/newspapers. The Book needs to be read in conjunction with other histories of the book, printing, publishing and creation of readers/markets especially in the nineteenth century. A fabulous account of mass production of literature and its impact on the reading public during the Victorian Age is by the historian Eric Hobsbawm. Also, William St. Clair on the reading nation during the Romantic Period. To get a lucid account of the book in the sub-continent it is worth reading The Book in India by B S Kesavan ( NBT India) . Similarly, there may be other specific book histories in different nations/regions. It may be worth putting together a list.
Neverthless, The Book by Keith Houston is a fundamental text for the simple, fascinating and information-packed narrative. Excellent stuff!
7 feb 2022