A witty, personal and entertaining reflection on the history and meaning of paper during the (passing) era of its universal importance.
Paper serves nearly every function of our lives. It is the technology with which we have made sense of the world.
Yet the age of paper is ending. Ebooks now outsell their physical counterparts. Still, there are some uses of paper that seem unlikely to change - Christmas won't be Christmas without wrapped presents or crackers. And the language of paper - documents, files and folders - has survived digitisation.
In Paper: An Elegy Ian Sansom builds a museum of paper and explores its paradox - its vulnerability and durability. This book is a timely meditation on the very paper it's printed on.
`Engaging and dynamic' Andrew Martin, Financial Times
`Wonderfully diverting...Splendidly dense with fact and thought' Steven Poole, Times Literary Supplement
`Sansom's scholarship is prodigious; his enthusiasm inexhaustible...He can make one laugh out loud by his placing of a single word' Daily Telegraph
`A collection of ever so erudite, witty, chucklesome essays, rich with digressions and asides, on paper, in many of its guises, that seeks to refute - and does refute - the idea that we are moving towards a paperless world' Bookmunch
Born in Essex, England, Ian Sansom is the author of the popular Mobile Library Mystery Series. He is also a frequent contributor and critic for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The London Review of Books, and The Spectator. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4.
He studied at both Oxford and Cambridge and is a former Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Currently, he teaches at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen's University in Belfast.