Dreaming of future books

April 20, 2010
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Andrew Piper’s Dreaming in Books: The Making of the Bibliographic Imagination in the Romantic Age explores literary culture at the turn of the nineteenth century to show how, alongside the period’s innovations in mass printing, romantic writing and writers themselves played crucial roles in creating the age’s “bookish culture.”
And in keeping with the theme of his book, Piper will appear at the Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival on Saturday, April 24, at 1 p.m to participate in a panel discussion titled: “Reading the World: The Future of the Book” as part of the five-day long festivities, which begin Wednesday. An article on the festival in the Saturday edition of the Montreal Gazette cites Piper on the “bookish culture” of today:

When McGill professor Andrew Piper was a child, punishment meant being sent to his room to read.
Today, if the father of two metes out punishment to either his 5-year-old son or 3-year-old daughter, it means taking away a bedtime story, be it Scaredy Squirrel’s latest adventure or a Frog and Toad tale.
Piper grew into his love of books and became an expert on the relationship between the book and literature in the 18th and 19th centuries. His latest book, Dreaming in Books: The Making of the Bibliographic Imagination in the Romantic Age, was published last year.
“The book has a future,” Piper said. “(Historically) there has been an enormous investment in books. It’s difficult for something so enormous, that has been around for so long, to unravel quickly. The book is clearly not a fad.”
The popularity of Blue Metropolis is one indication that there is considerable interest in literature, the book and the printed word in this neck of the woods.

More about the event at the Montreal Gazette.
More about the Piper’s book including Piper’s website of supplementary material Dreaming in Books:A Booklog is on the University of Chicago Press website.

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