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Index card 007 - Books about books
Papyrus: The Invention of Books in the Ancient World by Irene Vallejo

I’m not sure how or why my love of books was born. When was the exact moment when reading became a part of my everyday life? I can’t recall the first time I went to a public library or the first time I searched for a specific answer in a book. But I can say I have a very close relationship with books. Some months ago, while lockdown, a good friend told me, <<at least we are never alone, we have books>>. And whoever loves books knows and understands what she was trying to tell me.

Irene Vallejo wrote one of the most beautiful books I have read about books. Papyrus is a love letter to readers that takes us through deserts and books thieves, questions gender equality in Greece, and visits Roman emperors while showing us her genuine relationship with books:

“One night when I was a child, on the edge of the bed, my father told me about Odysseus’s meeting with the Sirens, and that’s where it all started.” 

Papyrus is a nonfiction book capable of making you cry and laugh in a few pages by telling you the constantly changing history of words contained in different shapes, a.k.a. books.

Because Irene still waits for the recognition she deserves, I decided this time I’m not going to share the link to a PDF but invite you to buy Papyrus: The Invention of Books in the Ancient World by Irene Vallejo and delight yourself with Irene’s lifework.

A book can also exist as an autonomous and self-sufficient form, including perhaps a text that emphasizes that form, a text that is an organic part of that form: here begins the new art of making books. (Ulises Carrion)

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