Keith Houston

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The United Kingdom
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August 2013

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Keith Houston Hi, H - thanks for posing the question! I'm glad you're enjoying "The Book".

Most important for me was having a year or so to devote to research (on to…more
Hi, H - thanks for posing the question! I'm glad you're enjoying "The Book".

Most important for me was having a year or so to devote to research (on top of the research I'd already done for "Shady Characters"). Membership of the National Library of Scotland helped me make the most of that year in that I was able to borrow almost any book I needed, however obscure, and to access their rare book collection as needed.

I have to say, at no point did I ever have the sum total of all my research in my head at once. I used Evernote to save and organise anything I found useful - notes, web pages, academic papers, photographs - so that I *didn't* have to remember it, and then gradually winnowed it down to the stuff that would eventually make its way into "The Book". Once I knew my way around the subject, the book's structure seemed more or less obvious - how could I have written it any other way?

Thanks again!
Keith(less)
Keith Houston Hi June - thanks for the question, and thanks for coming to Writer's Week!

I'm Scottish, but "The Book" was published by WW Norton, an American publish…more
Hi June - thanks for the question, and thanks for coming to Writer's Week!

I'm Scottish, but "The Book" was published by WW Norton, an American publisher, and so the spelling and general style conform to American standards. As for the paper, turn to page 75 and you'll find out everything you need to know!(less)
Average rating: 4.0 · 1,959 ratings · 394 reviews · 2 distinct worksSimilar authors
Shady Characters: The Secre...

3.93 avg rating — 1,280 ratings — published 2013 — 2 editions
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The Book: A Cover-to-Cover ...

4.12 avg rating — 679 ratings — published 2016 — 6 editions
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Miscellany № 88: a tale of two signs

We moved from London to Birmingham a couple of years ago now, and one of the first things I noticed when we arrived were the street signs: extravagant, cast-iron behemoths far removed from London’s restrained licence plates for buildings. Above is a typical street sign in Edgbaston, our then-new neighbourhood; below is an old-style enamelled sign from Wandsworth, our previous one.


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Published on June 06, 2020 13:10

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Miscellany № 88: a tale of two signs

We moved from London to Birmingham a couple of years ago now, and one of the first things I noticed when we arrived were the street signs: extravagant Read more of this blog post »
" Yup, something has definitely gone amiss! At https://shadycharacters.co.uk/about-me/, I wrote:

"I’m Keith Hou­s­ton. By day I write med­ical ima­ging s
...more "
" Gośka wrote: "I really like the Polish edition, though I'd love to take a look at the original one as well. :) Great publication!"

Thanks! I'm glad you
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The Book by Keith Houston
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The Book by Keith Houston
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Shady Characters by Keith Houston
"This book was simply wonderful, but I must add a caveat, it is not a book for the faint of heart. If you love history, learning new information about the world around you, love trivia, and were someone who often wondered what that little paragraph si" Read more of this review »
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More of Keith's books…
“Like laws and sausages, if you love parchment it is perhaps best not to see it being made.”
Keith Houston, The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time

“This invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. – Thamus, on the invention of hieroglyphics”
Keith Houston, The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time

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