Nicholas Basbanes is world’s leading expert on “books about books”. In 2009, during a BookTV interview (and tour of his home library), he teased his next book about the history of paper. It looks as if that new book, titles Common Bond, will finally get finished and printed. Basbanes is slated to speak at a University of Missouri dinner next week. An interview in the school’s library newsletter (PDF download) has Basbanes talking about the book briefly, saying:
“…I am loosely describing as a cultural history of paper and papermaking. It is a story that covers two thousand years but, consistent with the way I do things, is pretty much an exercise in storytelling. I go where the good stories are.”
The book has traces paper’s invention, use and future from the earliest pulp recipes in China through the current artisan and preservation efforts of today. The folks over at the FineBooks blog (the blog where I picked up on this and one you should be reading) said that Knopf is the publisher. I checked the Knopf Fall 2012 and didn’t see it listed, so it looks like it will be a Spring 2013 title at the earliest.