Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars25
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:£14.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a totally fascinating exploration of paper and the ways it is woven into the fabric of our lives in ways we may not even realise. It isn't a chronological history of paper though there are plenty of historical asides in the book. Throughout the book the author's love of paper in all its forms shines through and it seems to have been a labour of love to write it. I found it an interesting and well written book and I came across a great many snippets of information of which I was not previously aware.

Books - both printed and hand written are discussed as is paper money, which has been around a lot longer than you might think. Labels and packaging are explored by way of Charles Dickens and his job in a blacking factory and Nick Drake provides the title for the final chapter `Five Leaves Left'. Origami merits a chapter to itself - anyone remember Robert Harbin and his fascinating children's programmes? Paper's use in art is explored not just as the surface to which paint is applied but also to make three dimensional models.

The book is beautifully produced and designed. It has a comprehensive bibliography for those who would like to see the sources of the information contained in the book and there is an index.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 December 2012
Extraordinarily interesting read. My second and favourite Ian Sansom book. References to Paper Mario surprised and delighted me. It almost makes me bad that I'm typing this review online, though...
Great book. Great writer. Extremely entertaining man. Do yourself a favour and procure some papery knowledge! Mammocks.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 December 2012
Dr. Sansom is intelligent and has obviously done much research about endless
uses for paper. But he is funny too! The perfect book to read to learn something
or to be entertained. A gift for all teachers of English lit or readers.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 February 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I work in the creative industry so this book appealed to me straight off. Its always a risk with a book such as this though, that it ends up being awful. But it really surprised me how interesting and sometimes insightful it can be. And I think it has come about at a time when the paper industry is falling faster than it ever has, when a large percentage of media today is digital. This book is a nice reminder to a newer generation of how revolutionary paper was.

First of all the cover is quite nice with its embossed text, its somewhat dated but who cares, it fits! The stock the book is printed on though is standard recycled paper so don't expect any antique laid, even though its a book celebrating paper!

As for the content, forget the vague diagrams and focus on the approachable way Sansom writes what could, in other hands come across laboured and boring. Its a nice book to have lying around, and I've noticed people who see it pick it up, so the simple title and cover works. Its not a revolutionary book by any means but worth a read.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 March 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I rather thought this book was going to be one of those slightly worthy plodding accounts of the history of paper since ancient times. Not a bit of it: it's a gushily enthusiastic and very learned eulogy for all things paper. Not just the books but their covers and wrappings and going into areas like Japanese paper clothes and the further reaches of paper technology.

It is happily eccentric, choosing its focus on myriad different areas. But within each of those areas it is admirably learned with wonderful references to any number of disparate other writings - a real tour de force. Occasionally the author forgets his subject is paper and spends his time instead on the object the paper was used for - but who's to quibble over the odd rivulet from a maniac in full flood.

All of these are very minor gripes, it is, in all a tremendous, eccentric, learned miscellany of all things paper and the author deserves congratulation for the way such a mass of material is brought together and on the whole so successfully
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 6 January 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book has the potential to be hilarious as well as very informative - it doesn't really manage the hilarious bit. The author tries hard to be funny but lacks a lightness of touch. I found this surprisingly dry to read (I'm sure there are going to be lots of unintentional puns ...) but also interesting enough to keep me reading.
The author starts with an overview of all the things we use paper for and what's happening to paper now that we are in an electronic age. He reviews the origins of paper, its spread across the world and the various inventions that it gave rise to once the process of making paper became mechanised.
There are plenty of examples, which I like and a lot of strange and wonderful facts and characters emerge from behind the sheet (of paper) to take their proper place in paper's history.
I would recommend this book for anyone who likes a lot of facts and a lot of information and doesn't mind that it's not actually very funny.
I acknowledge that a book like this is under no obligation to be funny at all, but the style of writing indicates that the author does intend to be amusing. Unfortunately, he doesn't quite manage it, like a slightly crabby teacher who cracks the odd joke that no-one finds funny ... which is quite endearing really!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 February 2013
A delightful little book celebrating the material that is paper.

This is the type of book that the English do best, quirky, a single subject, and by someone with an obsession boarding on OCD!

It covers all sorts of subjects, from money to origami, it is a book that allows the author to describe his passion for this now ubiquitous material. There are lots of anecdotes and stories, and it is written in a pleasant style, with a moderate number of diagrams.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 August 2014
A misleading title as 'elegy' is a song of praise for the dead, and paper is far from dead. The forecasts of the paperless office never came true, and never will. Full of wonderful anecdotes and useless information that I find myself dropping into conversations, such as the tons of leaflets dropped on Vietnam, the tons of toilet paper consumed by the Chinese, Anyone who enjoys reading and writing will love this book, and it is a must for stationery fetishists like me.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 January 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Ian Sansom's book is not intended to be a history of paper, but rather 'a kind of personally curated Paper Museum'. In various standalone chapters Sansom discusses paper maps, books, banknotes, labels and advertising, paper art, paper craft, and paper as a tool of war and government. He also discusses paper making and the environmental impact of paper. In a final chapter entitled 'five more leaves' Sansom briefly ranges over more topics such as paper and science, cigarette papers, and paper clothes.

The book's subtitle is puzzling: paper isn't going anywhere and as Sansom remarks in his introduction reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. So although "Paper" is not an elegy, it is an entertaining and thought-provoking ramble with a chatty, learned, and self-effacing guide. Sometimes Sansom makes grand claims for paper's place in our culture and development which are hard to prove or disprove, but they are thought-provoking and allow the reader to look at such an everyday thing in a new way. The hardback comes with a wonderful embossed dust-jacket, and the overall layout of the book, which contains many black and white images, is attractive.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A few years back a genre seemed to emerge of books that brought seemingly marginal historic subjects to life (of which 'Longitude', highly recommended, was probably the most well known). The way in which Sansom weaves together a disparate mix of vignettes around a theme reminds me of that style. As a book that asserts to be a celebration of the age of paper it might have been nice if the publisher had pushed the boat out in terms of the quality of printing but that is being somewhat picky.

This book is delightful if you enjoy it for its lack of an objective - a series of insights into a subject that you might never otherwise discover. If you believe that all knowledge expands the mind, or just relish being distracted away from 'need to know' subjects then you will find this book worthwhile. It is also a timely reflection on a medium whose place in everyday life has been on the wane.

If you don't like books without an apparent purpose you will find it odd that it was ever written. Otherwise, this is an enjoyable diversion.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)