A meditation on the ways the library and the book has shaped life and history.
Words, Books, and the Spaces They Inhabit is the first of Mari Shaw's series The Noble Art of Collecting. With examples of unexpected collectors and serendipitous outcomes, Shaw investigates the obscure desires that shape art collecting and the public goodwill that results from it. What was lost when the scrolls in the ancient library of Alexandria were destroyed? How did Catherine the Great's collecting change the way we think? How do Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com expand our appreciation of books as objects? Though the ways we communicate live and vary, history has been created, recorded, and preserved in writing. Words and the spaces that contain them are crucial to an empathetic understanding of our world.