Michael Tutko February 3rd HW

Michael Tutko

Initially when I loaded up the PDF for “Wht is a book?” I was thinking this was gonna be a quick read until I saw it was 80 pages! Then I realized how much my initial reaction was right. I felt that the book was very comical but it was providing a so called “history lesson” But even this “lesson” in a sort while retaining a historical foothold, was also presented comically. I feel it’s written very loosely like if it were a conversation, and I can sense sarcasm in some of the lines. The book, if we may call it that, is written as passages or short facts only being a sentence or two long.

These short passages explain a brief and somewhat skewed historical background to the history of book and book production, hence the title. It does keep a chronological order in the text, that is warped in a way that it’s both historically “right” and funny. For example, the parts about Gutenberg going bankrupt was true, but only the beginning and end of that story was given and written so it was something to laugh at. The same goes for the idea of printing “single sheets of paper” instead of books, which I’m taking as the rise in mass produced posters… because people weren’t ready for books (Something along those lines). This touches on the fact that a lot of people weren’t able to read back in the day (14th-17th century) so getting one message across in pictures was a much more coherent way of communicating.

I laughed the moment I scrolled down the PDF. The whole book is ridiculous. After reading about 20 pages, lines is what they should be called, it became such an eye sore. This horrible look helped amplify it’s comedic theme although it made it harder and harder to read. I kinda like to retain some information when reading something, and this was just not wanting to be remembered, but it will be in a way. I also noticed the maps on some pages showed the area the author was talking about in the text overlapping it. The constant meme’s were hilarious, but interesting. They were interesting in the fact that they’re in a “book”/e-book. Which is weird because if there were to be a print version of this, these meme’s would be printed, and its an interesting way of seeing them because they have there origins as an internet/electronic phenomenon.

In terms of the book being printed vs reading it online, I’m in the air about that one. It’s about what a book is and it kinda poses the question to a reader whom is reading electronically. While if I were to read it physically, which I prefer I hate reading off screens, it would contain those quips and meme’s from the electronic world.


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