Bibliographic Details

The Oxford companion to the book / edited by Michael F. Suarez and H.R. Woudhuysen.

Imprint Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2010.
Description 2 v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language English
Subject Books -- History -- Encyclopedias.
Book industries and trade.
Format E-Resource, Print, Book
URL for this record
Other authors / contributors Suarez, Michael F., 1960-
Woudhuysen, H. R.
ISBN 9780198606536 (hbk.)
0198606532 (hbk.)
Notes Also available online.
Review by Choice Review

The Oxford Companion to the Book (OCB) evidences clear objectives, careful editing, and an attractive format. Part 1 features 51 signed, 2-13 page essays. Nineteen cover general topics such as paper, and 32 address national/regional book history. The historical point of view is stressed throughout. More than half of the "Children's Literature" essay reflects pre-1900 developments. The "Electronic Book" traces its subject back to 1945 and takes it forward to Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iPhone. Selective bibliographies follow each essay, and monochrome illustrations occasionally highlight text. The 850-page A-Z section is organized in typical "Oxford Companion" style, emphasizing information rather than critical analysis. Entries cover individuals living and dead (publishers, book dealers, bibliographers, illustrators, printers, librarians, and collectors) and institutions (book clubs, libraries, learned societies, and more). Entries range from one sentence to 2,000 words; most have reference citations. The editors clearly had fun with some of the entries: a "book runner" is a "peripatetic second-hand bookseller who may be seen flitting from shop to shop, buying in one, selling in another."With such a broad resource, quibbles are inevitable. Omissions include the scholarly book historian Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt; Sol Malkin, longtime editor of AB Bookman's Weekly; and the Brick Row Book Shop, now in San Francisco. On the whole, however, this set is above reproach. The editors have produced an excellent indexing and cross-referencing system to make the task of finding specific information easier. A 30-page thematic index is, according to the editors, an "intellectual cartography" to the whole. The general index covers both essays and A-Z entries. The OCB is aimed at book collectors, booksellers, librarians, bibliographers, printers, archivists, general readers, and specialists. It provides a global approach to the world of the book and is, in every way, a monumental achievement. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Researchers/faculty, professionals, and general readers. D. C. Dickinson emeritus, University of Arizona

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review