After all, the relationship between human reader and “animated” book has been forged over centuries. The Bible, perhaps the first book to be characterized in these terms, was thought to be the material embodiment of Jesus Christ, “a living and breathing likeness of Him” in the words of Erasmus. Since Christ was understood to be the carnal manifestation of the Scriptures — the Word made flesh, according to the literary scholar James Kearney — the Bible was reflexively endowed with human properties. “The leaves of this booke be the armes, the handes, legges and feete” of Christ, said Bishop John Fisher in an early-16th-century sermon. The capital letters dyed in red are “the great wounds of his body, in his handes, and in his feete, and in his side.”

The Tradition of the Book Continues – Finally, the authorship of the Gospel according to John settled! It was some dude named James Kearney.