A new guidebook is out which offers a fascinating look at how the origins and development of the bookshop and bookshop-like stores of the Victorian era began in America.
It is titled The Origins of Bookshops: A History of Books and Publishing in America and is being published by Cambridge University Press.
The book, titled The World of Books, was written by historian and professor David S. Roberts and has just been named the Oxford University Press Book of the Year for 2016.
It features extensive interviews with people from the bookshops of the 1860s and 1870s and shows how bookstores in America came about, how booksellers were formed and what their origins were.
It shows that in fact, bookstores were not the creation of any single individual, but a process of convergence of ideas and communities.
The author says the book was “not intended to be a comprehensive history of the history of bookshopping”.
However, he says it “is the most complete, accessible and authoritative history of books in the world”.
Roberts says it shows how ideas and groups emerged and how ideas developed.
“In the first half of the 19th century, a group of bookshop owners in the heart of American capitalism, in a city known for its manufacturing industries, set out to create a new kind of bookstore that would provide a forum for free speech and debate,” he said.
“They set out a set of ideas, a set that would be shared among a number of different groups, including literary, political, social, artistic, scientific, literary and professional.
The idea was that this bookshop would be a place where people would come to debate ideas, ideas they would read and ideas they might share.”
Roberts also says that the book gives readers a sense of what was going on back then in America, and it is “a reminder of how far we have come”.
“It shows us how far Americans have come in the last 150 years, from being the nation of bookstores to now the nation where we have the largest bookshop network,” he told ABC News.
He said the book also contains a selection of images and information about the history and development for the book shops and bookstores-like structures in America before the Civil War.
Topics:history,books-and-books,history-and_literature,books,americas,australia,united-statesFirst posted September 16, 2018 13:57:36Contact Josh WardMore stories from Victoria