Paper: Book summary and reviews of Paper by Ian Sansom

Paper

An Elegy

by Ian Sansom

Paper by Ian Sansom

Buy This Book

About this book

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.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

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

The information about Paper shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

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), Ring Road (2004), The Case of the Missing Books (2006), Mr Dixon Disappears (2006), The Delegates' Choice (2007) (US Title - The Book Stops Here), Paper: An Elegy (2012) and The Norfolk Mystery (2013).

He studied at both Oxford and Cambridge where he was a fellow of Emmanuel College. He is a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick and teaches in its Writing Program.

Link to Ian Sansom's Website

Other books by Ian Sansom at BookBrowse
  • The Bad Book Affair jacket

5 more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more history, current affairs & science...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Goodbye Days
    Goodbye Days
    by Jeff Zentner
    Guilt can be a heavy burden for anyone to manage, but it's especially difficult for teenagers. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
    The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
    by Hannah Tinti
    Hannah Tinti follows her spectacular 2008 debut, The Good Thief, with a novel of uncommon ...
  • Book Jacket: Music of the Ghosts
    Music of the Ghosts
    by Vaddey Ratner
    Music of the Ghosts is about healing and forgiveness, but it is also about identity and the revival ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

A funny and acutely perceptive debut about four siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Manderley Forever
    by Tatiana de Rosnay

    Bestselling author Tatiana de Rosnay pays homage to Daphne du Maurier.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Stars Are Fire
    by Anita Shreve

    An exquisitely suspenseful novel about an extraordinary young woman tested by a catastrophic event.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Finishing second in the Olympics gets you silver. Finishing second in politics gets you oblivion.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y S M B, I'll S Y

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -