Monday, January 12, 2015

The first book printed with movable type




Christie, Alix. Gutenberg's Apprentice: A Novel NY: Harper Collins, 2014 ISBN 978-0-06-233601-9
Christie presents a wonderfully crafted fictionalized history of the invention of the printing press and movable type as told by Gutenberg’s apprentice Peter Schoeffer. Already an accomplished scribe, Schoeffer follows the wishes of his foster father and Gutenberg's financial backer, Johann Fust and learns all about the printing trades. Christie fills the story with the tension of this amazing project setting it into a political and religious context. In 1448, Gutenberg and Fust, along with others in his shop embark on a five-year project to print the Bible. They designed and carved their own type, experimented with different types of metal for the type (matrices and punches), and used the golden canon to lay out each page with crisply impressed letters. Using a hand written Vulgate Bible as a model, they printed 180 copies on large sheets of handmade laid paper and a precious few on vellum. Ultimately completed in 1455, each page was composed or laid out in 42 lines of left & right justified double columns of type. Topping out at 1400 sheets, the sixty five quires were bound into two volumes, 48 of which survive intact today. If you are interested in the history of the book, the history of printing and typography, or just want to know about printing bibles, this is the book to read.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Reading with your ears

Those of you who know me, know I read a lot. I also listen to audiobooks at any opportunity. I've been reviewing audiobooks since 1989 and have been a judge for the Audie Awards, sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association (APA) http://www.audiopub.org/  since the beginning. 

Here are some links to audiobook reviews and articles:

Why audiobooks? They take you to another world. I can do two things at once: cook, stitch, quilt, drive, garden, walk or exercise, AND listen to a book. There are many people who ask me if I remember the books when I listen. My answer is yes. The book is vivid, sometimes more vivid than when I'm physically reading. And I can visualize the scenes in the stories just as vividly as when I listen. 

The next time you have a project where you won't be distracted by someone reading to you, try an audiobook. I have plenty to recommend through Audiofile Magazine. My audiobook reviews aren't on my Goodreads list https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/1557957 . That list I save for the various books I check out of the library or purchase. You can also find my reviews in the Ohioana Library Association quarterly http://ohioana.org/

Have you put a good book in your ear lately?