One of the most fun aspects of studying books is determining how they are constructed and what makes them different from other books, even when printed at the same time by the same printer. That's one of the joys of bibliography. Another is identifying each physical book's idiosyncrasies or unique aspects so a collector or librarian can differentiate one edition from another. After all, you don't want to purchase two copies of the same title, unless there's a reason, such as collecting all the extant copies of Shakespeare's First Folio, as they do a the Folger Library http://www.folger.edu/ Here's a link to their current exhibition http://www.folger.edu/Content/Whats-On/Folger-Exhibitions/Ongoing-Exhibitions/The-First-Folio.cfm
As I consider what to talk about this week and next in my lectures, bibliography is top most on my mind. Of course, you will be putting together a brief analytical, descriptive bibliography with annotations, background, and more in your semester long project. But there's more to bibliography than that. The study of the book is the appreciation of the similarities and differences of editions, a growing familiarity with printing conventions, and a discovery of the construction of a text and text block.
Scholars of the book vary in their interests. Some want to examine every issue, every extant copy of a title. Others want to gather together the corpus or works of an author to understand his or her growth as a writer. Still others are interested in the work of a specific printer or editor and how that individual influenced the profession.
As you study your author and book, you'll come to appreciate the work of bibliographers who study the minutia of texts, furthering scholarship. I challenge you to be creative in your study of the title you selected. Look beyond the printed and digital text, and explore the corpus of your author.