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Portable Magic


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About the Author

Professor Emma Smith is a lecturer in English at the University of Oxford, Professor of Shakespeare Studies, and a Fellow of Hertford College.


If you love books, you'll love Portable Magic -- Val McDermid
For many of us, books are the life we chose without thinking about it too much. Emma Smith's terrifically knowledgeable and thoughtful Portable Magic helps us understand every aspect of what our beloved books stand for. I for one am very grateful. What a delight this book is. -- Lynne Truss
Irresistibly fascinating -- John Carey
Brilliant... amusing, darkly sobering, and consistently fascinating ... a combination of deep scholarship and down-to-earth wit * Telegraph *
Fun, playful, learned and accessible... Smith is herself a magical writer * BBC History Magazine *
Smith's genius is to question as well as to value and register every contradiction - to make you, the reader, think without even suspecting that you are ... for communicating complex material in conversational, occasionally irreverent, prose -- Lucasta Miller * The Critic *
Joyous ... thrilling ... A brilliantly written account of the book-as-material-object, and the slightly seedy pleasures of "bookhood" -- Kathryn Hughes * Guardian (Book of the Week) *
Wildly entertaining ... This fascinating, slyly amusing book carries an undertow of personal affection for the curious, rectangular, multileaved objects with which we're so familiar * Sunday Times *
Smith's enchanting book sparkles with gems of trivia that often conceal deeper truths about the evolution of reading and publishing. Fascinating, enlightening, funny and touching, this is indeed portable magic * Sydney Morning Herald *
Emma Smith's history of the physical book is a thing to cherish ... witty and ingenious ... Smith reads with all her senses alert ... A wise, funny, endearingly personal book -- Peter Conrad * Observer *

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