[LMB] why we still need paper books

Thomas C Vinson t.vinson at sbcglobal.net
Fri Sep 23 03:33:52 BST 2011

Kathleen Collett:
> Yes, but the books printed on non-acidic paper in the 
> 18th and 19th centuries are perfectly fine.

In my first incarnation as a graduate student (Germanic
languages) I had to consult a number of 19th-century
journals.  There was a sharp break in paper quality around
1870, when woodpulp paper was introduced.  Those were the
ones you had to be careful of when turning pages.

On the other hand I remember looking up something or other
in a book published in the early 17th century, and the paper
was still in excellent condition.  (The original binding--
leather?--had been replaced.)

Besides, I still remember when I was in high school, driving
up to the mountains in North Carolina and passing by the
paper mills in Canton.  Give me stockyards any day.*
<insert emoticon for holding your nose here>


[*] Cod liver oil production is another interesting aroma, 
fishy with an overtone of honey.

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