In the introduction, Ellen Lupton states "I sought a book that is serene and intelligible, a volume where design and text gently collaborate to enhance understanding. I sought a work that is small and compact, economical yet well-constructed - a handbook designed for the hands. I sought a book that reflects the diversity of typographic life, past and present, exposing my students to history, theory and ideas. Finally, I sought a book that would be relevant across the media of visual design, from the printed page to the glowing screen."
And that's exactly what she created. This book is an excellent entrance point into typography, and the author's enthusiasm for the subject comes across very warmly. It's delicately balanced to offer a bit of history, a bit of technical terminology, a few how-to's and what-not-to-ever-do's. I've picked up and put back down two other uninspiring typography books - 'Typography' by Ambrose/Harris, 'Logo, Font and Lettering Bible' by Leslie Cabarga - but this book captured my attention and ignited my imagination. And that's really the point of reading design books isn't it? Not to just admire what you see, but to feel inspired to create your own work.
Other typography books may be better at drumming in the technicalities, or teaching you how to practically implement things in InDesign or HTML/CSS. But this book gently informs, entertains and encourages, turning a mild interest into a fascination. It's really an easy and most definitely worthwhile read, presenting typography not as a strict discipline to be mastered, but an expressive art form to be admired, enjoyed and played with.