This important collection of essays from James W. Watts fills in many gaps left by previous studies of books in general, and religious scriptures in particular, that prioritize meaning in influence of specific words without consideration for the physical media and performative affects surrounding those words.
The wide range of topics addressed and examples used in this volume demonstrate its usefulness to scholars in multiple fields that deal with how and why the phenomena of books and texts, especially those with the status of scripture, exert influence and authority in individual lives and social groups. For those who are already familiar with Watts' writing, this volume adds additional nuance to his previous studies and the numerous illustrations act as a helpful resource for further investigations.