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Let us suppose for a moment that paper were to disappear.
Would anything be lost?
Everything would be lost.
Paper surrounds us. Not only as books, letters and diaries, but as beer mats and birth certificates, board games and business cards, fireworks and flypaper, photographs and playing cards, tickets and tea bags. We are paper people.
But the age of paper is coming to an end. E-books regularly outsell physical books. E-tickets replace the paper variety. Archives are digitized. The world we know was made from paper, and yet everywhere we look, paper is beginning to disappear. As we enter a world beyond paper, Ian Sansom explores the paradoxes of the greatest of man-made materials and shows how some kinds of paper, and the ghosts and shadows of paper, will always be with us.
Paper: An Elegy is a history of paper in all its forms and functions. Both a cultural study and a series of personal reflections on the meaning of paper, this book is a timely meditation on the very paper it is printed on.
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Ian Sansom is a frequent contributor and critic for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The London Review of Books, and The Spectator and a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. He is the author of nine books including Paper: An Elegy, and the Mobile Library Series.From Bookforum:
Elegy is actually not the right word for this pulpy romp through paper's material past and present. Not quite a history, Paper feels more like a commonplace book, one of those predigital scrapbooks of items jotted down for future reference. If anything connects this stream of historical cameos and musings on materiality, it's the idea that paper persists. —Jennifer Howard
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Book Description Fourth Estate, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. BRAND NEW ** SUPER FAST SHIPPING FROM UK WAREHOUSE ** 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. Seller Inventory # mon0001186048
Book Description Fourth Estate, 2013. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # GH9780007480272
Book Description Fourth Estate, 2012. Condition: New. A witty, personal and entertaining reflection on the history and meaning of paper during the (passing) era of its universal importance. Num Pages: 224 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: GTC; KNTP. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 136 x 18. Weight in Grams: 250. . 2012. Paperback. . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780007480272
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Book Description Fourth Estate, 2013. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # ria9780007480272_rkm
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2013. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # FC-9780007480272
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Book Description Fourth Estate, 2012. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M000748027X
Book Description Harpercollins Publishers, 2013. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. 224 pages. In Stock. Seller Inventory # __000748027X