The Book on the Bookshelf

Henry Petroski, Professor of Engineering and Professor of History at Duke University, is a master at "humanizing" engineering by writing about the history and development of familiar objects such as paperclips and pencils. He seems to relish the challenges involved in writing engagingly to non-engineers about some of the most mundane objects in everyday life - things that we take for granted. I'll have to admit that the first chapter of this book just about lost me in boredom, but after that, it consistently piqued the interest of this inveterate bibliophile. Petroski traces the history of written materials and their storage from papyrus scrolls of Alexandria to the destruction of the collections in monasteries during the Reformation to Samuel Pepys' personal library to the Library of Congress.

Publication information
Pick Attribution: 

Henry Petroski

Publication Date: 
Saturday, January 1, 2000