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Judge a book by its cover: the physicality of the book

The book, or what we’re loosely calling the book, is commonly judged by the intellectual or creative quality of the ideas expressed in the text that fills its pages. Sure we may occasionally, secretly, pick up a book because it has an intriguing cover – something shocking, colourful, provocative – but the essence of the book is found in its ideas, is it not?

January 13 - April 25
Location: Link Gallery, First Floor, Murray Building
Curators: Craig Harkema and Joel Salt

 “The association of books with their readers is unlike any other between objects and their users.” (Manguel, The Symbolic Reader, p. 214)

The book, or what we’re loosely calling the book, is commonly judged by the intellectual or creative quality of the ideas expressed in the text that fills its pages.  Sure we may occasionally, secretly, pick up a book because it has an intriguing cover – something shocking, colourful, provocative – but the essence of the book is found in its ideas, is it not?  But what if the page, size, shape, and construction is what garners the most attention?  Or what if the ideas expressed within are so unabashedly connected to its physical properties that it cannot be judged without considering its physicality?  Or what if the ideas expressed in the text are not nearly as significant as the way in which it was made and presented as an artefact?  Read more.

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