Molly 's Reviews > The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future

The Case for Books by Robert Darnton
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Jun 01, 10

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bookshelves: books-and-writing, libraries

Robert Darnton is a cultural historian, the director of Harvard's library system, and the author of an eyebrow-raising number of titles, some of which come with such appealing-- or not -- titles as 'The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History.'

This book collects about eight essays that he's written over the years, most of them for The New York Review of Books. Roughly divided into the future, the present, and the past, the pieces range from critical looks at the implications of Google Books to the history of bookselling and the "mysteries of reading." I really like the first part, especially the Google stuff, but found that other parts of the collection wandered a bit too much for my taste. However, I also liked the look at the life of an 18th century bookseller (Bob, you should read that!) and the paean to commonplace books.
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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Molly,
Thanks for the tip. I will read it!


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