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A Place for Everything: The Curious History…

A Place for Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order (edição: 2020)

de Judith Flanders (Autor)

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1667128,038 (3.6)7
Título:A Place for Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order
Autores:Judith Flanders (Autor)
Informação:Basic Books (2020), 352 pages
Coleções:Lendo atualmente

Detalhes da Obra

A Place For Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order de Judith Flanders

  1. 00
    The Book on the Bookshelf de Henry Petroski (nessreader)
    nessreader: Both flanders + petroski write about the historical development and practicalities of arrangement of libraries.
  2. 00
    Just My Type: A Book About Fonts de Simon Garfield (nessreader)
    nessreader: Two entertaining books about letters for the general public, garfield on fonts and flanders on alphabetical order.

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Although the alphabet has more or less maintained its order even across different scripts, it took a surprisingly long time for alphabetical order to become the standard basis for storing and retrieving information. Judith Flanders describes that faltering process in this book, which it must be said turned out to be rather drier than I was expecting. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Jul 27, 2021 |
One wouldn't perhaps have thought that there was enough about the development of alphabetization to fill a book. And while the text does sag a bit, as the author digresses into what is perhaps her true topic--the developmental history of information organization--she manages to find quite a bit that is new and intriguing. Perhaps its most general and valuable contribution is to demonstrate clearly how much that we take for granted, and treat as "natural" or self-evident, is actually arbitrary and achieved dominance only after centuries of effort. We should apply this lesson more broadly, especially when passing judgment on the "strange" ways that other cultures do things.

Of special interest in her account is the role that commonplace books have played. This practice, once ubiquitous, has fallen below the notice of many, so it is good to see a substantive treatment of the practice, and how it influenced the way that books were organized. ( )
  dono421846 | Jun 15, 2021 |
This is a very interesting book for a narrow audience - particularly librarians. It is not just about the origin of alphabetical order in things like encyclopedias, card catalogues, scientific manuals etc. The book goes back to ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt up to recent times. Also covered are what people wrote on and wrote with along with the people who assembled and stored information over the decades. Luckily I am into historical trivia and liked it. Those who are not will want to scream. Also, I loved that I have a personal library larger than any in the world during the 1300's. ( )
3 vote muddyboy | Oct 3, 2020 |
A perfectly serviceable historical account of how we came to organize (many) things alphabetically. Much of the story will be familiar to those who have read Ann Blair, Tom Mullaney, and others, but Flanders does a good job of synthesizing her sources. ( )
  JBD1 | Sep 20, 2020 |
I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I was so excited about this book when I saw that it was available -- I have been working in bookstores and libraries since I was a teenager, so classification and organization of information is a big deal to me. There's really nothing that relaxes me more than putting a list in order. I was primed to love this book, but I merely liked it. Most of the book discusses what happened in the ancient world, Middle Ages, and the era right after movable type and printing presses came into existence. (95% dead white men, in other words.) The author's style is academic, and a full 30% of the page count was notes and bibliography. This book would be very useful for someone who is writing a paper for library school. I make it sound like it's not interesting, but I learned so much. (For example, Melvil Dewey was a creep to a criminal degree!) I think this book is probably much better when it's not the advance copy, too, because in the digital ARC, there is no delineation between notes and text boxes vs. the main body of the text, so it got very confusing. I think there are more illustrations in the published book, too. This would make a perfect gift for someone who loves history, research, and archives. ( )
1 vote HeatherMoss | Sep 18, 2020 |
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