Turning the page: the future of the printed book
What do we mean today when we refer to a book?
Gutenberg's Fingerprint also tells the story of the making of one of Merilyn's books, The Paradise Project, as both a handmade letterpress book and as a digital book.
That story involves some intriguing, real-life characters: Hugh Barclay is the owner and operator of Thee Hellbox Press, with his very own hand-operated antique letterpress. Merilyn's son is Erik developing the digital edition.
But Gutenberg's Fingerprint is not a story about digital books vs print books: Merilyn believes they really can live happily together.
A full transition to digital will take quite some time, she believes.
"When you think of other huge shifts in communication, like the shift from scrolls to books, that took 1000 years."
"I think what they really mean is where would we be without reading. And even more deeply, what they really, really mean is where would we be without stories?"
Still, Merilyn writes that Hugh Barclay and his antique letterpress version of her book taught her that "the solid form of language isn't writing, it's ink."
Holding a letterpress printed page of her book for the first time was a wonder, she says.
"It made words concrete for me in a way that I had never really felt them before."