A post from Shady Characters

The 2016 Shady Char­ac­ters gift guide (sort of)

The Book. Image courtesy of Sam Otis.
Image courtesy of Sam Otis.

Given that I’m still on hiatus, I’m cheating a little for this year’s gift guide. I have just the one suggestion, and you may already have guessed what it is: why not treat yourself or a loved one to a copy of The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Ex­plor­a­tion of the Most Power­ful Ob­ject of Our Time?

If you enjoyed Shady Characters (or indeed this blog) then I’m sure you’ll find The Book to be of interest, but if you haven’t made your mind up then do have a read of this extract published at Longreads: “Hidebound: The Grisly Invention of Papyrus”. And if you need more encouragement, Blackwell’s in the UK are calling The Book one of their books of the year.

That’s all from me for 2016, and quite a year it has been. Thank you for all the comments, emails and tweets, whether about punctuation, books or The Book — it is always a pleasure to chat with you all, and I appreciate every message. See you all in 2017!

The Book. Image courtesy of Sam Otis.
Image courtesy of Sam Otis.
The Book. Image courtesy of Sam Otis.
Image courtesy of Sam Otis.
The Book. Image courtesy of Sam Otis.
Image courtesy of Sam Otis.

The images published here come courtesy of Deane Barker and Sam Otis of Blend Interactive. Deane kindly mentioned The Book in his talk “The Book Itself: Four Thoughts on the Enduring Value of the Printed Book”, delivered at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon as part of the Delight 2016 Conference; Sam (@sam_otis) was the photographer. Thank you both!

6 comments on “The 2016 Shady Char­ac­ters gift guide (sort of)

  1. Comment posted by Steve Minniear on

    I think I’ll wrap my copy up and give it to myself, again. (Not sure about the grammar.)

    1. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      Hi Steve — I appreciate the sentiment, grammar be damned!

  2. Comment posted by Trevor Peach on

    Indeed, and what a beautifully produced book it is! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and my treat may be to read it again!

    1. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      Hi Trevor – thanks for the comment! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Comment posted by Barbara Beeton on

    Both “The Book” and “Shady Characters” are soon to be added to my bookshelf (or book pile), in paper of course.

    But I have a serious quibble with the presentation of one line in this article, or, more properly, the breaking of the line: “Lon-greads”. Not really, I hope! (Maybe it’s just my browser?)

    1. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      Hi Barbara — thanks for the comment!

      Unfortunately, web browsers aren’t great at hyphenation. In some cases, they aren’t capable of hyphenating at all. For shadycharacters.co.uk, I use a separate Javascript program to to ensure that all readers get at least minimally hyphenated text, but it isn’t foolproof. You’ve found one of the cases in which it fails!

      There isn’t an obvious fix, unfortunately, but thanks all the same for bringing it to my attention. I may be able to do something about it in future!

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