We who have grown up in societies that rely on written language find it hard to imagine being without one. Written language dominates how we’re educated, how we work, and how we play and communicate with loved ones. Without our written language, we clearly would not be who we are.

This book attempts to rekindle that more personal relationship with some of the world’s most beautiful written character specimens. While it’s true that languages can thrive without writing-after all, more than half of the world’s 3000 languages don’t have writing systems and have still developed other sophisticated ways of transmitting communication-it’s also true that if a language does have a successfully implemented writing system, that writing system and the language it expresses nourish one another.

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