The Speaking Picture Book Sings

The Speaking Picture Book - the subject of a previous post - is one the freakiest, funniest items in the special collections of Cambridge...

What's Inside The Page?

The idea that a page has an 'inside' seems counterintuitive, but it's become the norm in the digital era. Reading text on an electronic...

Instructions for Use

Why would you need instructions for operating a page? That’s what this Norwegian comedy sketch - involving a Medieval IT Helpdesk - asks....

Thinking Inside the Box

I received d.p. houston’s poetry collection, Boite de Vers, in the post last week. It’s completely unreadable, but not in the sense that...

Carry On in the Library

In the early 1960s Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell – then both obscure writers inhabiting the demi-monde of a scruffy and very much...

Feeling The Page

Weproductions, a small press operated by Telfer Stokes and Helen Douglas from the 1970s to the 1990s made a series of books that are by...

Between the Sheets

You know that feeling when you're in the office, you get that mid-afternoon slump and you suddenly feel all drowsy? This strange item...

Peep Holes

This is Joseph Moxon's 1670 book Practical Perspective or Perspective Made Easie in Cambridge University Library (M.14.63). It's got pop...

Bullet holes

Here's a book in St John's Library - Rerum Germanicarum tomi III. 1688 (F.7.25) - that has ACTUAL bullet holes in it. Or at least that's...

Losing my marbles

I'm a bit obsessed with the marbled leaf in Laurence Sterne’s novel, Tristram Shandy. It must be one of the strangest pages in...

Pages arguing with one another

Heather Weston's Grey Matter: Arguing with Descartes is a strange book structure – the cardboard cover zig-zags to form an M shape,...

Anatomy of the page

Ever felt like you're getting too intimate with the book? Here's some non family-friendly pictures of me poking around inside this...

The earliest movable book?

The Chronica Majora (MS26) in Corpus Christi College Library, Cambridge is hard to categorise. It's a history of the world from the...

Marbled fingerprints

Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy has a famous marbled leaf that's never the same twice, because marbled paper is always unique. This one...