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Papyrus
Papyrus: The Invention of Books in the Ancient World | Irene Vallejo
12 posts | 8 read | 5 to read
A rich exploration of the importance of books and libraries in the ancient world that highlights how humanitys obsession with the printed word has echoed throughout the ages Long before books were mass-produced, scrolls hand copied on reeds pulled from the Nile were the treasures of the ancient world. Emperors and Pharaohs were so determined to possess them that they dispatched emissaries to the edges of earth to bring them back. When Mark Antony wanted to impress Cleopatra, he knew that gold and priceless jewels would mean nothing to her. So, what did her give her? Books for her librarytwo hundred thousand, in fact. The long and eventful history of the written word shows that books have always been and will always be a preciousand precariousvehicle for civilization. Papyrus is the story of the books journey from oral tradition to scrolls to codices, and how that transition laid the very foundation of Western culture. Award-winning author Irene Vallejo evokes the great mosaic of literature in the ancient world from Greeces itinerant bards to Romes multimillionaire philosophers, from opportunistic forgers to cruel teachers, erudite librarians to defiant women, all the while illuminating how ancient ideas about education, censorship, authority, and identity still resonate today. Crucially, Vallejo also draws connections to our own time, from the library in war-torn Sarajevo to Oxfords underground labyrinth, underscoring how words have persisted as our most valuable creations. Through nimble interpretations of the classics, playful and moving anecdotes about her own encounters with the written word, and fascinating stories from history, Vallejo weaves a marvelous tapestry of Western cultures foundations and identifies the humanist values that helped make us who we are today. At its heart a spirited love letter to language itself, Papyrus takes readers on a journey across the centuries to discover how a simple reed grown along the banks of the Nile would give birth to a rich and cherished culture.
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review
jenniferw88
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Mehso-so
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jenniferw88
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#bookreport

Continued Papyrus
Started and finished Chess (Story)

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jenniferw88
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#weeklyforecast @Cinfhen

Continue these two.

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eol
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Mehso-so

It‘s a 450+ pages long essay, almost a stream of consciousness. Flowing without structure but relaxing. It mixes deeply personal—autobiographical—content with well-researched history told from the POVs of people who lived it. A pleasant, well-written read.

Still, I like me some structure, so not really a pick. Not for me at least—this may end up one of those books I successfully recommend to others despite not loving it myself.

3.25/5

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psalva
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Pickpick

A delightful, illuminating read. A love letter to the perseverance of books, language, and ideas which doesn‘t ignore their destruction and destructive power. It speaks to the importance of being a reader, a book lover, a story teller. Vallejo‘s writing was like the weaving of a tapestry connecting the ancient with the modern, and the reader is a thread. Warm and poetic at times, I just adored this. ⬇️

#catsoflitsy

psalva Some flaws: confusing citations at times. Also, mainly focused on western/European history and literature. With those points in mind, I still highly recommend this. Shout out to the translator, Charlotte Whittle, who does an outstanding job of conveying the poetry in Vallejo‘s writing. 13mo
18 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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catiewithac
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Mitch, thank you for this stunning book for my birthday! It‘s a joy to hold and I love dappled edges ❤️ Thanks for remembering my special day!! 🥰 #LitsyLove

Mitch Hope you had a lovely day xxx 13mo
59 likes1 comment
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psalva
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“We spend our lives making lists, reading them, memorizing them, tearing them up, throwing them into the trash, crossing off the things we‘ve done, loving and loathing them. The best lists are those that recognize their items‘ importance and try to give them meaning. Those that embrace the details and the uniqueness of the world, preventing us from losing sight of what matters.”

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psalva
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Leaving aside the pesky use of he/him pronouns which I would guess stems from the translation from Spanish, this description of reading a scroll really got my imagination going. The imagery in this book is so effective, and I feel like I‘m connecting to the history more fully. I can also tell how much Vallejo as the author loves her subject.

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Paus0312

“Los libros tienen voz y hablan salvando épocas y vidas. Las librerías son esos territorios mágicos donde, en un acto de inspiración, escuchamos los ecos suaves y chisporroteantes de la memoria desconocida.”

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Paus0312

“En cierto sentido, todos los lectores llevamos dentro íntimas bibliotecas clandestinas de palabras que nos han dejado huella.”

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Paus0312

“Esa sabiduría nos susurra que la humilde,imperfecta y efímera vida humana merece la pena, a pesar de sus limitaciones y sus desgracias, aunque la juventud se esfume, la carne se vuelva flácida y acabemos arrastrando los pies”

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bcncookbookclub
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Pickpick

An impressive story about books and people working together to make its exist. Women had an notable importance in this track and it can inspire us nowadays.
ISBN:978-84-17860-87-5, writer in the pic.

#spanishreading #irenevallejo #elinfinitoenunjunco