This 2023 volume is Tab Journal’s eleventh year, and its print issue draws from traditions of how reading materials are made available to readers. Certainly, text is contained in objects such as books, journals, newspapers—with their scale, weight, and page-turning demands. These objects take on their weight based on cover material, size of page, binding, and ink. A single volume of The Compact Oxford English Dictionary (2nd Edition) weighs 14.8 pounds and comes with its own magnifying glass.
And how are such objects themselves contained? The shelves where books and journals are stored are exclusive to people who can reach, grab, unstack, and navigate codex systems, all within the rooms and buildings that shelves—and readers—occupy. Henry Petroski writes in The Book on the Bookshelf, “Books and bookshelves are a technological system, each component of which influences how we view the other. Since we interact with books and bookshelves, we too become part of the system. This alters our view of it and its components and influences our very interaction with it.”
In Volume 11, Tab Journal questions access in relation to interaction and portability. With digital and audio formats of reading material, what is the place for print? Tab Journal strives for flexibility in a physical interaction yet defies the traditional anatomy of a codex—a spine, page signatures, and an obvious cover. It is not waiting to be chosen from a shelf. Instead, the print issue takes its storage with it in the form of a pouch where other things can join in its container, just as a phone or tablet is a portable container for poetry and much more.
To request one or more copies of the print issue, please use the Contact form.
The online issues in the 2023 volume pick up elements of the print issue’s design, and the entire website is updated to reflect this and shape the reading experience.
Rahma O. Jimoh
Khachaturian in Beirut
fugitive: crossword clues
What Can Be Done
To Be There
A Theory of Happiness