Book Review: Portable Magic

The Travelling Bookbinder: Book review: Portable Magic: Emma Smith

As it’s time for BookLove 2022, this month’s book review is Portable Magic.

A must-have for bibliophiles, this history of books and their readers is a rollicking ride through our social, political, cultural and practical past, right up to the (post-) pandemic present.

As an academic specialising in Shakespeare, Emma Smith shines an erudite and entertaining light on a panoply of manuscripts, libraries, rare and mass-produced volumes, emphasising that ‘books as objects convey meanings in excess of their verbal content.’

Oh to have such knowledge, bound in these pages! Portable Magic will illuminate and deepen your love of books…and may also explain why your TBR pile is so high.

Portable Magic: A history of Books and Their Readers, by Emma Smith is published by Allen Lane.

Order Portable Magic from Golden Hare Books, using the code bookbinderbookreview14 and receive 10% off, valid until 30th June.

Read The Guardian review.

Explore materiality, meaning and making on the BookLove e-course, beginning 29th May.

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