It has been over twenty years since I made the argument that the emerging new field of book history was missing something by focusing narrowly on the creation, reception, and preservation of printed texts. For the most part, scholars concentrated on books as we knew them in the twentieth century, printed and mass produced for a commercial readership. This progressive, chronological model of book history, with its origins in nineteenth- and twentieth-century print practices, implied there was a clear distinction between medieval manuscript volumes, beautifully prepared by monks for an elite readership, and the new world of printed texts blossoming in the long eighteenth century, offering unparalleled access to an ever-expanding readership across class and gender lines and at reasonable cost. Now in the twenty-first century, the emergence of e-books as well as the ever-increasing proliferation of electronic social media forms offers a perfect opportunity for us to revisit what...

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