While paper and printing were becoming far more widespread, Price stresses that this did not automatically lead to more people reading great literature—or even reading books at all. Instead, it led to things like the rise of junk mail…
…As books became more popular, they also became more ornamental. Wealthy ladies began buying elaborate Bibles to match their elaborate outfits. There were stories about gentlemen who simply sent booksellers the measurements of their shelves…”
A great article in The Boston Globe looking at Leah Price’s research into things that people did with books other than read them. A lot of interesting historical examples, alongside some musings towards contemporary e-readers, the place, purpose, and use of books today.
Discussion of books nowadays, no matter how historical their gaze, always devote at least 1/3 of their time to E-Readers and Tablets. This one makes some fine points towards the end.