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Publishers WeeklyAttempting to short circuit the perennial chorus of eulogies for the publishing industry, the book, and/or print media as a whole, Striphas explores the culture of books and book reading in a time of rapid change-not just in media technology, but in "patterns of work and leisure, ... laws governing commodity ownership and use," and elsewhere-without presuming the medium faces "a full-blown crisis." A communications and cultural studies professor, Striphas (of Indiana University) traces the modern evolution of the book as it has been affected by commercial phenomena like the big box bookstore, mass distribution, e-books and Oprah's book club, managing to craft an accessible and entertaining narrative out of a highly academic history (oddly enough, the world-wide legal adventures of Harry Potter are especially captivating). Though he can get repetitive, Striphas sees the culture clearly in its parts and as a whole, and this collection of historical and commercial analysis should fascinate those seriously involved with book culture and/or the industry.
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