"So Many Books" is not so much a book as a conversation: about books, about reading, about the mad business of how a book is born every 30 seconds. It is a book of proposals and arguments and debate about books, from the age of Socrates to our own. It lets you join the conversation."So Many Books" is not so much a book as a conversation: about books, about reading, about the mad business of how a book is born every 30 seconds. It is a book of proposals and arguments and debate about books, from the age of Socrates to our own. It lets you join the conversation.Read Less
New. Although we rarely question the value of writing, producing, selling, and reading books-after all, books are our passion and our business-never have we experienced such broad confirmation of these activities as we find in So Many Books. Socrates, in the Phaedrus, argued that books undermine our powers of memory and are inferior to conversation. Today's critics are more likely to point to the astounding number of titles published per year in issues of only a few thousand (more than a million) as a troubling development. But essayist Gabriel Zaid, at ease with the philosophy, history, psychology, and business of books, is their match, marshaling amazing facts and figures and constructing original arguments. Among the former are that 81% of Americans want to write a book, that Oxford University Press kept a certain translation from the Coptic into Latin (that sells an average of 2.6 copes/year) in print for 200 years; and that books that will sell for $30 to a few thousand people can't be given away to another ten thousand. Zaid weaves all into an utterly able defense of the book, and its irreplaceable contribution to cultural conversation. Touché, Socrates!
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