Paper: Book summary and reviews of Paper by Ian Sansom

Paper

An Elegy

By Ian Sansom

Paper
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  • Published in USA  May 2013,
    256 pages.

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Book Summary

Paper by Ian Sansom, author of The Bad Book Affair, is a witty, personal, and entertaining meditation on the history and significance of paper.

From the bathroom to the boardroom, paper is essential. Birth certificates, money, books, cigarettes, passports, tea bags, shoeboxes, toilet tissue, prescriptions, menus - all are made from paper. Humans have been using paper and its products for nearly 2,000 years, from its invention in China to modern America, where the average citizen consumes approximately 750 pounds a year.

In his brilliant and original voice, Ian Sansom curates a history of paper, in all its forms and functions. Both an international cultural study and a series of personal reflections on the meaning of this essential product, Paper takes us through the panoply of human history.

This beautifully designed work, printed on high-gloss stock and beautifully packaged interweaves cultural facts, the author's own insights, anecdotes and black-and-white illustrations from around the world, from the ruminations of French Intellectuals to the Japanese art of Origami.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"An enjoyable argument that speaks to the paper lover in all of us." - Kirkus

"Engaging and dynamic." - Andrew Martin, Financial Times

"Wonderfully diverting…Splendidly dense with fact and thought." - Steven Poole, Times Literary Supplement

"Sansom's scholarship is prodigious; his enthusiasm inexhaustible…He can make one laugh out loud by his placing of a single word." - Daily Telegraph

"A collection of ever so erudite, witty, chucklesome essays, rich with digressions and asides, on paper, in many of its guises, that seeks to refute – and does refute – the idea that we are moving towards a paperless world." - Bookmunch

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Author Information

Ian Sansom Author Biography

Ian Sansom is a regular contributor to The Guardian and the London Review of Books. He lives in Northern Ireland. In addition to the Mobile Library series he is the author of The Truth About Babies: From A-Z (2002) and Ring Road (2004). Plentiful information about him can be found at his rather charming website: http://www.iansansom.net.

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