Friday, February 03, 2017

Booknote: Paper: Paging Through History

Mark Kurlansky, Paper: Paging Through History. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2016. ISBN: 978-0-393-23961-4.

Genre: nonfiction
Subgenre: history, microhistory, paper.
Format: hardcover
Source: Berea branch of the Madison County (KY) Public Library.

As  much  as I wanted to like Kurlansky's Paper, the book is just too slow of a read. I've tried to get through it for over two months, and just dragged myself through it. I checked it out, renewed it until it reached renewal limit, then checked it out again. It was a slow, dragging read.

While the topic is interesting, the narrative is just not engaging enough. It makes a good bedtime book if you need something to help you sleep. The book overall is very comprehensive, drawing  from various areas of history. It often shows that civilizations developed paper once they felt the strong need to record things. And despite concerns about its production, it will continue to survive at  least for now.

The book also features a timeline and a bibliography. As a librarian, I think I found the bibliography a lot more interesting than the book itself. In the end, as I said, I wanted to like it, but it was just not engaging at all. On a side note, Nicholas Basbanes, an author I  have enjoyed in the past, also has a book on the  history of paper: On Paper: The Everything of its Two-Thousand Year History. I may give that  one a try instead.

2 out of 5 stars.

Book qualifies for this 2017 Reading Challenge:

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