Thursday, March 16, 2017

Printer's Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History


Today's post is on Printer's Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History by Rebecca Romney and J. P. Romney. It is 384 pages long and is published by HarperCollins. The cover is white with a printing press and an editor freaking out over the misprinted title. The intended reader is someone who is interested in book history and humorous stories. There is mild foul language, talk of sex, and talk of violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Since the Gutenberg Bible first went on sale in 1455, printing has been viewed as one of the highest achievements of human innovation. But the march of progress hasn’t been smooth; downright bizarre is more like it. Printer’s Error chronicles some of the strangest and most humorous episodes in the history of Western printing, and makes clear that we’ve succeeded despite ourselves. Rare-book expert Rebecca Romney and author J. P. Romney take us from monasteries and museums to auction houses and libraries to introduce curious episodes in the history of print that have had a profound impact on our world.
Take, for example, the Gutenberg Bible. While the book is regarded as the first printed work in the Western world, Gutenberg’s name doesn’t appear anywhere on it. Today, Johannes Gutenberg is recognized as the father of Western printing. But for the first few hundred years after the invention of the printing press, no one knew who printed the first book. This long-standing mystery took researchers down a labyrinth of ancient archives and libraries, and unearthed surprising details, such as the fact that Gutenberg’s financier sued him, repossessed his printing equipment, and started his own printing business afterward. Eventually the first printed book was tracked to the library of Cardinal Mazarin in France, and Gutenberg’s forty-two-line Bible was finally credited to him, thus ensuring Gutenberg’s name would be remembered by middle-school students worldwide.

Review- A funny book but I think that some of the modern language will make it dated before it's time. In this book there are many different stories from the 600 odd years that the printing press has been in use. Everything from Ben Franklin making his fortune to the beginnings of the celebrity biography. The language I am talking is current pop culture and slang which does add humor to the events but at the same time, it is fitting and current but in five or ten years it will be outdated and this book with its great and interesting stories will be forgotten. The content itself is good and well written. I would like the Romney's to write more about their experiences in the rare book world with all its quirky characters.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I was given this book by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.