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Figure 1. Signatures in traditional western bookbinding can be stitched together in series of pairs. Author’s illustration.

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Figure 2. Left: three-dimensional, physical printed book (codex). Mr. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARES COMEDIES, HISTORIES AND TRAGEDIES. Published according to the True Originall Copies. (First Folio) (London: Isaac Jaggard and Edward Blount, 1623). Photo courtesy of California State Library – Sutro Branch, San Francisco, California. Right: two-dimensional, virtual electronic book (eBook), showing a page from “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare,” Project Gutenberg, January 1, 1994, www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/100 (accessed April 17, 2015). The page shown is from Hamlet (3.1.55–84), as displayed on Apple’s iPad 2010 edition. Public domain.

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Figure 3. In a digital book, the font size can easily be changed. From WINNIE-THE-POOH by A. A. Milne, illustrated by E. H. Shepard. Copyright © 1926 by E. P. Dutton, © renewed 1954 by A. A. Milne. iBook copyright © 2009 by The Trustees of the Pooh Properties. Coloring of the illustrations copyright © 1992 by Dutton Children’s Books. Used by permission of Dutton Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. The pages shown are from Chapter IV: IN WHICH Eeyore Loses a Tail and Pooh Finds One.

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Figure 4. Left: 1950 printed book version of Winnie-the-Pooh. Right: digital book version on Apple’s iPad 2010 edition. From WINNIE-THE-POOH by A. A. Milne, illustrated by E. H. Shepard. Copyright © 1926 by E. P. Dutton, © renewed 1954 by A. A. Milne. iBook copyright © 2009 by The Trustees of the Pooh Properties. Coloring of the illustrations copyright © 1992 by Dutton Children’s Books. Used by permission of Dutton Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. The pages shown are from Chapter VIII: IN WHICH Christopher Robin Leads an Expotition to the North Pole.

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Figure 5. A King James Bible showing the different thicknesses of the Old and the New Testament. Author’s photo illustration.

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Figure 6. As magnification changes, the same 62 dots in Winnie-the-Pooh (2010 iPad) represent the total length of the book, irrespective of page length change. From WINNIE-THE-POOH by A. A. Milne, illustrated by E. H. Shepard. Copyright © 1926 by E. P. Dutton, © renewed 1954 by A. A. Milne. iBook copyright © 2009 by The Trustees of the Pooh Properties. Coloring of the illustrations copyright © 1992 by Dutton Children’s Books. Used by permission of Dutton Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. The pages shown are from Chapter VIII: IN WHICH Christopher Robin Leads an Expotition to the North Pole.

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Figure 7. Paper and ribbon bookmarks in printed books. Left photo courtesy of the California State Library – Sutro Branch, San Francisco, California. Center and right: author’s photos.

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Figure 8. A bookshelf can help its owner create a mental map of books by the proximity between them. Author’s photo.

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Figure 9. Baddeley’s model of multicomponent working memory. Redrawn from Memory, by Alan D. Baddeley, Michael W. Eysenck, and Michael C. Anderson, (Hove, UK: Psychology Press, 2009): page 58, Figure 3.9. Used by permission.

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Figure 10. The Greenwood Press’s Phaedrus. The section shown (Phaedrus 227a-d) is from the beginning of the dialogue. Author’s photo, reproduced courtesy of The Greenwood Press.

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Figure 11. The speakers-and-reader relationship in Stauffacher’s Phaedrus, with a schematic diagram of a section from the beginning of the dialogue (Phaedrus 227a-d). Author’s photo illustration. Photo courtesy of The Greenwood Press.

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Figure 12. In Stauffacher’s final typographic format, when Phaedrus listens to Socrates, Phaedrus’s long pauses fill the left pages as effectively as Socrates’s long speeches fill the right pages. The sections shown above are, on the left, Phaedrus 274c–275b, and on the right, Phaedrus 255e–256e.

 
The Image of the Book
Posted September 11, 2017
Design Issues 31.3 (MIT Press)

Trogu, Pino. The Image of the Book: Cognition and the Printed Page. Design Issues (MIT) 31.3 (2015): 28-40. doi: 10.1162/DESI_a_00336

Introduction: The Making of Books
Is it possible that in another five hundred years, paper will be obsolete as the material of choice for making books, and that only digital books will be available? Even though digital gurus such as Nicholas Negroponte, who in 2010 said that physical books had five years of life left in them, assure us this is the case, perhaps this obsolescence will not fully happen because of certain qualities of the printed book that complement a reader’s psychological makeup.

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