If you’ve ever wondered when books were invented, you’re not alone. Several different technologies have been used for the creation of books, from Papyrus and cords to paper and hardbound books. Even electronic publishers admit that the age of the book isn’t over. Despite the many advantages of electronic publications, books aren’t going away anytime soon.
When hardbound books were invented, the technology that made it possible was still in its infancy. But as the technology advanced, so did the number of books produced. By the mid-twentieth century, printing and distribution had become cheaper. Then, in the 1940s, paperback books were introduced, which were less expensive and easier to carry around. By the 1960s, paperbacks had become the primary format of books for many readers, and hardcovers were gradually becoming obsolete.
The process of creating a hardcover book is known as case-making. This process involves cutting and sewing a board with a cloth cover on the spine. Paper covers were also developed, but with a cut-out window on the cover to display the title and cover. By the 1870s, dust jackets were also common. However, the dust jackets were often blank, which meant that readers could not read the title of the book. This problem led Lewis Carroll to write a letter to his publisher, demanding the title of his book be placed on the spine of the wrapper.
Before papyrus was invented, books were extremely rare in the Greek world. Before that, the Greeks wrote on wooden tables or skins. The lack of proper writing material made Greek works very scarce and expensive. In the seventh century AD, the Egyptians started exporting papyrus to the Greeks. This gave them a much easier and more convenient writing material. As a result, Greek books became more widely available.
Papyrus sheets were joined together in rolls and transported to temples and government buildings. These scrolls were used as government and religious texts. However, the manufacturing process was expensive and required a great deal of manual labor. Many skilled workers would beat the papyrus plant to produce sheets of paper. Because the process involved manual labor, the papyrus sheets were expensive and collected by the wealthy and elite.
Cords when books were invented are a common method used to create bindings. As early as 1700, a large portion of all wrapped books were sewn on cords. About 75% of books were bound with cords, while only 11% were bound with vellum straps. The most common sewing pattern was the abbreviated type, and the endsheet was a single leaf wrapped stub. In addition, about 60% of books were not shaped, and 20% were ploughed or trimmed.
These days, most paper-cased books are made with cords. The cords are supported by a board and a sewing support. The ends of the cords are covered with leather. In the past, some of these cords were damaged or missing and the book was no longer secure.
Paper was originally made from animal skins. This type of material was used for wrapping precious objects in the Mediterranean world. It was much lighter and cheaper than silk. As paper became more widespread, other materials such as fishnets and old rags were used to create the material. Eventually, a Chinese inventor named Tshai Lun invented paper from these materials. The invention of paper was widely adopted, and the material is now used in many countries today.
In the early 14th century, paper began to be used to create books. Eventually, it became the book material of choice in Europe. Bookbinding was also invented, using cut pages stitched together on leather cords and laced to a leather cover.
Gutenberg’s printing press
When Gutenberg began work on his printing press, his partners became suspicious. They thought he was working on “another secret art” and sued him to protect it. Ultimately, he won the case and the printing press was kept secret. Gutenberg spent the next several years in Strasburg, Germany, studying movable type printing methods. His knowledge of printing from China did not help him, and he worked alone to develop his unique process.
Gutenberg’s invention made books more widely available and revolutionized book production. This technology led to a social and cultural revolution, whose repercussions can be felt today. Gutenberg was a goldsmith by trade and was very interested in the development of new ideas. In time, he was able to mass-produce books and even print in color!
When books were invented, the Christian Bible was one of them. Originally written in papyrus, it was later re-created in book form in the codex format. It was then considered authoritative and authentic by Christian communities. This process began in earnest when the Roman emperor Constantine became a Christian. The first printing of the New Testament was made in Latin in 175. By the year 600, the Gospels had been translated into eight languages.
The Christian Bible contains the writings of Jesus, his apostles, and followers. It is believed that Jesus is the Son of God, was born of the Virgin Mary, and performed many miracles during his life.