People usually think of books in terms of their contents, their texts, with less thought for books as artefacts. In fact books may possess all kinds of potentially interesting qualities beyond their texts, as designed or artistic objects, or because they have unique properties deriving from the ways they have been printed, bound, annotated, beautified or defaced. This text explores books from the Middle Ages to the present day to show why books may be interesting beyond their texts. Books can develop their own individual histories, which provide important evidence about the way they were used and regarded in the past, and which make them an indispensable part of the fabric of our cultural heritage. This book will raise awareness of an important aspect of the life of books in the context of the ongoing debate about their future. Extensively illustrated with a wide range of images, this book is not only approachable but also thought-provoking.