Petroski reveals why books are displayed vertically and other questions to change how you look at a book or a bookshelf.
The text follows the evolution of book storage from pigeonholes used to store scrolls to modern space-saving "moveable-aisle" stacks.
The author also covers the changes in the physical design of books and the challenges faced by libraries throughout the ages as more and more books appear on their shelves.
An appendix covers methods of organizing a personal book collection.
Try a hop through reading history to follow Petroski's humor in anecdotes and helpful illustrations that bring the subject area to life.