Friday, February 23, 2007

And Now, For Something Completely Different

I recommend this book every chance I get: Copies in Seconds, by David Owen. It's about Chester Carlson, who was instrumental in inventing the Xerox copier.

At a glance, not my typical kind of book. I got it for my father, who eats nonfiction for breakfast. But he talked about it so much that I had to read it.

David Owen does a masterful job of weaving Chester Carlson's life story with history's attempts to make copies of documents, and with the technical details of the process that led up to the first Xerox copier. And as I read it all, I felt as if I understood it. I couldn't possibly explain any of it now, but while I was reading, I wasn't lost in jargon, and the author didn't presume any technical knowledge on the part of the reader.

This book is available at the library now.

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