I’m not sure what I was expecting from The Book, maybe a collection of interesting facts or stories about books or the history of books. What I got was something quite different.
Burkhard Spinnen is a German writer and bibliophile. This book consists of a series of very short essays about books, particularly about whether the hardcopy book, or text, as Spinnen refers to it, will give way to the ebook. But it also has little essays about types of books, Spinnen’s relationship to books, and so on. Some of the essays read as if they were written long ago (referencing an incident in the 1970’s as “recent,” for example), while others are about more current ideas and issues.
I guess I think of this book as a trifle—something you might give as a gift to someone who loves books. I am a book lover myself, but I have to admit I didn’t get that much out of it. I’m not familiar with Spinnen nor with most of the German authors he cites, and this book feels like one that would appeal mostly to people who are fans of Spinnen. Maybe I should be more familiar with him and the writers he mentions, but I’m not sure.
The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them
Through the Looking Glass: Further Adventures in the Realm of Children’s Literature