Stock Image

Glass Paper Beans Revelations on the Nature and Value of Ordinary Things

Cohen, Leah Hager

117 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0385478194 / ISBN 13: 9780385478199
Published by Doubleday/Currency, New York, NY, 1997
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Books Maps Prints More (Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since May 23, 2003

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 14.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: Free Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

This is a first edition hardcover book in a dust jacket. Both the book and the jacket are in fine conditon except for a short closed tear on the bottom corner of the jacket. Very clean, crisp, bright. The book appears to be unread. There are no marks or writing. The story and history of how things are made and the origin and stories of the development of various objects such as the coffee bean. Bookseller Inventory # 941

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: Glass Paper Beans Revelations on the Nature ...

Publisher: Doubleday/Currency, New York, NY

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good+

Edition: First Edition

About this title


Once upon a time, we knew the origins of things: what piece of earth the potato on our dinner plate came from, which well our water was dipped from, who cobbled our shoes, and whose cow provided the leather.  In many parts of the world, that information is still readily available.  But in our society, even as technology makes certain kinds of information more accessible than ever, other connections are irrevocably lost.  In Glass, Paper, Beans, Leah Cohen traces three simple commodities on their geographic and semantic journey from her rickety table in the Someday CafÚ to their various points of origin.  And through the intimate portraits of three everyday workers--Ruth Lamp, a night-shift supervisor at the Anchor Hocking glass factory in Ohio; Brent Boyd, a third-generation lumberjack from Plumweseep, Canada; and Basilio Salinas, a man who tends the coffee trees at Pluma Hidalgo, Mexico--a whole new world of connections and values are realized as Cohen, Oz-like, draws the reader across time and continents.

In prose both sophisticated and stunningly simple, Leah Cohen braids the lives of these three unforgettable workers as she traces the origins, myths, and manufacture of glass, paper, and the beloved coffee bean.  An elegant and inspired inquiry into the true nature of things, Glass, Paper, Beans is a classic work on the economy of everyday life.

Leah Hager Cohen is the author of Train Go Sorry: Inside a Deaf World, chosen by the American Library Association as one of the best books of 1994.  She lives outside of Boston with her husband and son.


On the face of it, the morning paper, a cup of coffee, and the mug into which it's poured are simple, expected pleasures--rarely given much thought unless they fail to appear. So it seemed to journalist Leah Hager Cohen, until one particularly focused moment in a Boston coffee shop when she found herself pondering how disconnected she was from the unseen elements that brought her Sunday morning ritual to life. That instant was the genesis of Glass Paper Beans: Revelations on the Nature and Value of Ordinary Things. In it, Hager Cohen traces the stories of the glass cup from which she's sipping, the paper upon which her news is printed, and the coffee beans that gave birth to her morning jolt. This leads to tales of source origins and legends. But she also pays homage to the people involved in turning raw materials into consumer goods: Ruth Lamp, who oversees the Anchor Hocking glass factory's Lancaster, Ohio, select and pack department; Brent Boyd, a fourth-generation Canadian logger; and Basilio Salinas, who tends coffee plants on a cooperative in Pluma Hidalgo, near Oaxaca, Mexico. Woven throughout this thoughtful meditation are the elements that make the market tick, politics, philosophy, and musings on the role advertising plays in removing us from the true qualities of the items that we employ in daily life.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Books, Maps, Prints, and More is an internet store for collectible, interesting, useful, and unusual books. Our books are mostly out-of-print and formerly owned. Some look new, others have some wear. When a book offered shows wear, we will attempt to describe the wear in some detail so that you may make your book buying decision with confidence. We welcome questions in advance of the purchase and can provide images if we have a window of time to take the image (if it doesn't already exist). We also operate a walk-in store at 4157 Grand Ave So in Minneapolis, MN, 55409.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

Our store name, Books Maps Prints More, reflects three of the items we sell. We also sell some ephemera, posters, author signatures, and broadsides. >>>>>

We strive to: identify the edition and year of publication, describe the condition carefully, package structurally for safe passage, and ship on time. >>>>>

Postage costs shown with the book/item price are general. Size, shape, weight, and value determine the postage for shipments from the U.S. Sometimes they have to be adjusted. Domestic: Pos...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 2 business days. We often ship the same day. Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Money Order PayPal Bank Draft