Response to The Designed Object


What is a book? What are the distinguishing characteristics of a book; what sets it apart from other similar entities?

Book is a storehouse of human knowledge intended for dissemination in the form of an artifact that is portable, or transportable. It contains arrangements of signs that convey information. There are many similar entites to books, such as newspaper.However, the differences between them are that books focus on storying informations with relatively weak time limited, and have long-term stability.

Kilgour discusses 5 necessary “elements” present at each of the major innovations of the book. Which one do you think is the most important today, as the book evolves again, and why?

The five concurrent necessary elements are: societal need for information; technological knowledge and experience; organizational experience and capability; the ability of integration a new form into existing information system; and economic viability. For my perspective, societal need for information is the most important today, because of the explosion of information and the nature of learning. Learning is a process that one accumulates knowledge provided by others. Therefore, we need books to held the amount of knowledge than far more beyong a human’s memory can retain, serving as extensions to human memories.

components of a physical book:

  • Papers
  • Titles/ subtitles
  • Hardcovers
  • Press name
  • Introduction/ preview
  • chapters
  • pictures/ images
  • words/ letters
  • page numbers
  • Glossary
  • Index
  • Content table
  • right claims
  • Author names
  • marks/ bolds/ italics
  • arrangement of spacing
  • ISBN/ bar codes/ Price
  • Citations
  • explanations/ clarifications
  • bookmark?(the part that covers fold towards inside)
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