. . . . comes the perfect gift for the true bibliophile on your list (or a little-something-special gift from you to you for all your hard work writing this year): Books: A Living History, by Martyn Lyons.

Even if you’re not a writer, but someone who appreciates the artistry and design that goes into the crafting of a bound volume, this book has something for you. It covers the whole history of the book as a living artifact, from papyrus scrolls to illuminated manuscripts through to the publishing boom of the industrial revolution and the subsequent revolutionary indies of the late nineteenth century (think Bloomsbury). And for you more progressive types, know that Lyons dutifully follows the book into the “digital age” — I am curious as to what his take is on the Nook, Kindle, and the other digital reading devices. For myself, I’m partial to a satisfying encounter with a well-weighted hardcover or a broken-in nicely bound paperback and their flutter of real pages any day.

Happy browsing!