As a twelve-year-old, Matthew Battles accidentally threw a baseball through the window of the public library in Petersburg, Illinois; he’s been paying for it ever since. His first book, Library: An Unquiet History, appeared in 2004. He has written about language, culture, nature, technology, and history for The American Scholar, The Atlantic Online, The Boston Globe, Harper’s, and The Wilson Quarterly, among other publications. He also blogs at hilobrow.com, and is at work on a book about the sentimental and natural history of handwriting. On Twitter, he’s @matthewbattles.