In Portable Magic, Emma Smith examines the history of books as symbols, objects and tie machines

By Amy Walters
June 17 2022 - 2:00pm
Library of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, with glass roof, arches and galleries full of books. Picture: Shutterstock
  • Portable Magic: A History of Books and Their Readers, by Emma Smith. Allen Lane, $45.

As lockdowns were imposed and Zoom took over our lives, the bookcase emerged as a must-have background prop. This trend spawned a Twitter account called Bookcase Credibility (@BCredibility), which pokes fun at public figures' pursuit of this shallow indicator of intellect.