The topic of the “book” can be opened in many ways. This seminar investigates the book’s plangent materiality: its claims on timelessness, its transience. Through keyholes in space and time, we’ll discuss how the book has changed, how it produces visual and readerly processes, and how it instantiates the persistent trope of the “page”. Books have social lives too, and we’ll examine grand medieval books and inspect the micrographic doodles on a page’s margins that are parts of the textual cultures and communities of books. Attention will be paid to book collectors’ books and to collections of books, like libraries and archives.