What Is A Book?

Here’s a little chart for all of the oh-so-cooler-than-thou coolsters out there who like to show their anti-hip hipsterdom by poo-pooing technology, and strut their appreciation for traditional literature by displaying their ignorance of its history.

So, you say you prefer “real” books to Kindle and Nook?  What people read on Kindle and Nook are real books.  When you say “real” books, you’re talking about codices — singular codex — which, early in the Christian Era, largely replaced the scroll format that had dominated book presentation for thousands of years.

The Book of Genesis is a book whether its rolled up around a stick, bound up in a stack of leaves, or zapped to your ereader as a series of 1’s and 0’s.

Yes, we often use “book” as a synecdoche for “book in codex form.”  But, regardless of format, the book is the words, not the format through which the words are presented.  Here are some images to explain the concept:

Just in case that doesn’t make it clear:

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