The value of a volume such as Book Parts, in a field arguably crowded with numerous specialty studies on the esoteric features of paratexts and book history evolution, quickly becomes apparent. Dennis Duncan, a writer and translator with a forthcoming work on the book index, and Adam Smyth, of Balliol College, Oxford, assembled a team of twenty-one specialists (including themselves) representing a vast body of expertise on every imaginable feature of the inexorable progress of the book's form, features, and, especially, its glorious idiosyncrasies. The Oxford English Dictionary notes that the word trivial includes the meaning indicating little value or importance. These writers present convincing arguments that little is trivial about the respective parts of any book, from incunabula (pre-1600) to modern digital manifestations, and their diversity of approaches in highlighting their assigned book parts proves engrossing, inviting, and, surprisingly, often entertaining.

Among many other strengths the compilation brings...

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