Saturday, 13 February 2010

The History of the Book In 100 Page Turns

The History of the World in 100 Objects currently playing on BBC Radio 4 is a peach of an idea - if annoyingly similar to a somewhat less grandiose idea we've been considering with Bill Mayblin and his astounding collection of philosophical souvenirs.
But hey..

One object so far has been a japanese 'Jomon' pot, 7,000 years old, made of brown clay, bucket-like, built up with coils, but fibres have been pressed into the side to make it look and feel like a basket. Why like a basket? Because 10,000 years before that, the clay pot replaced baskets as containers for food. Less leaky, more robust, capable of being heated safely, the pot transformed the human diet. But presumably they took a few millennia to catch on, during which time the consumer needed assurance that this was really just a new improved form of basket.

So this is the ancient equivalent of the page flip effect used on websites to designate book-ness.
Will we still be turning digital pages in millennia to come or will all these conventions pass as quickly as the regency style radiogram?



Here's a nice video from the Scottish Poetry Library where words appear to break free from the page to explode all over Edinburgh. Let's dedicate it to Sue Horner, retiring Head of Curriculum at the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Authority, if:book board member, a friend and a Very Good Thing for Literature, having worked hard to keep poetry and creativity on the menu in schools.

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