Paper, Pixels and the Lasting Impression of Books
by Merilyn Simonds
Pub Date 11 Apr 2017
Four seismic shifts have rocked human communication: the invention of writing, the alphabet, mechanical type and the printing press, and digitization. Poised over this fourth transition, e-reader in one hand, perfect-bound book in the other, Merilyn Simonds author, literary maven, and early adopter asks herself: what is lost and what is gained as paper turns to pixel?
Gutenberg’s Fingerprint trolls the past, present, and evolving future of the book in search of an answer. Part memoir and part philosophical and historical exploration, the book finds its muse in Hugh Barclay, who produces gorgeous books on a hand-operated antique letterpress. As Simonds works alongside this born-again Gutenberg, and with her son to develop a digital edition of the same book, her assumptions about reading, writing, the nature of creativity, and the value of imperfection are toppled.
Gutenberg’s Fingerprint is a timely and fascinating book that explores the myths, inventions, and consequences of the digital shift and how we read today.
A Note From the Publisher
— Washington Post on The Lion in the Room Next Door
“Beautifully wrought, emotionally complex, satisfying fiction. Simonds may be the next Alice Munro.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred on The Lion in the Room Next Door
“A tour de force. Simonds’s prose is alluring, her historical detective work is flawless . . . What makes The Convict Lover soar off the page, though, is Simonds’s ability to probe into the psyches of real people, and to find there imaginative truth.” — Globe and Mail on The Convict Lover
"A dense and complex novel . . . as engrossing as the most intensely crafted psychological drama . . . compelling, hypnotic." — Globe and Mail On The Holding
- Simonds combines an exploration of the past, present, and future of books with an intimate and accessible narrative of the making of two books: one in 19th-century letterpress and one in the latest digital format.
- The book crosses many genres: it’s a big-idea book tackling an oft-discussed subject, it’s very accessible to the readers who might veer away from books about technology/cultural history, and it holds a hint of memoir in the narration.
- The evolution of the book is a constant source of debate among book lovers and technophiles, and Gutenberg’s Fingerprint contributes to the conversation in a unique and compelling way.
- 2017 celebrates the 25th anniversary of the first e-book and the 40th anniversary of the first readily accessible personal computer.