There are two types of people, one who loves to read and the other who loves to write. Do you know that the one thing that is common among them is a book? However, it is not a modern phenomenon because readers and writers have been among us for centuries. One of them is the author. But in the wider sense, does anyone know how were books made in the 1800s and about the writer of how this book was made?
1. Where did the term Book come from?
The word book was derived from an Old English boc, which was derived from a Germanic root word bok, which is related to the beech tree. As we all know, papers are made from trees. (See Who Invented the Sticky Note?)
2. What was used in Ancient Times to write?
Before the invention of paper, various other things like tree bark, clay sheets, stone, and bones were used for writing. There is evidence of these in the form of cave drawings and stone carvings. The archeologists have even discovered various stone tablets with writings in ancient languages. But at that time, these sources were used to note mathematics, astronomy, etc. (See Who invented Paper and When?)
3. What was the next step towards the Making of the Book?Photo by Sergiu Vălenaș on Unsplash
Without the invention of paper, making books would not have been possible. A Chinese court official, Lei Yang, invented the paper; and the Egyptians are the first civilization to use paper in the form of pages to make notes. They weaved together the stems of the papyrus plant, flattened them, and turned them into pages that were in the form of a scroll. (See How to Learn Tut Language?)
4. Who adopted the Scrolls Format?
Another important point in answering the question of how this book was made was the invention of scrolls. After the invention of scrolls, Greeks and Romans adopted this technique and used them for centuries. Their way of transporting scrolls was to wrap them carefully inside a piece of wood. In this way, the scroll was protected and unwrapped in a grand manner. Until the 8th century, this method was used by various civilizations. (See What are Some Examples of Artifacts?)
5. What was the Substitute for Papyrus?
Despite the invention of paper, in some parts of the world, calfskin and deerskin were used in place of paper. This was done to meet the shortage of papyrus. Also, these skins were not easily torn like paper. The parchment made from the animal skins was treated in alkaline and then ink was used to write on them. (See Who Invented Tissue Paper?)
6. When were Picture Books invented?
With the passing of time, people learned to use paints and draw pictures too. Since 1658, this technique was used on these parchments, which contained hand-sketched illustrations, along with the text. These parchments came to be known as illuminated manuscripts. (See How is Culture Transmitted from One Generation to Another?)
7. What were Wax Tablets?
These were the ancient version of erasing and writing and then repeating methods. At that time, when erasing on paper method was not discovered, Romans and Greeks came up with a solution to avoid the wastage of paper. They layered the wooden blocks with wax, which enables the person to scratch the wax to write the message, then erase it again to re-use it. Must read about the Importance of Books in Our Life.
8. How this Book was made for the first time?Photo by Danika Perkinson on Unsplash
According to the researchers, the first book that was actually written on paper was made in China. The paper for this book was made from the pulp derived from fish, mulberries, and hemp. The size of these papers was almost like a modern-day newspaper, and it was called Leaf. To print the pages, the ink was pressed upon them using the wooden printing blocks. After the printing process, these pages were known as Folio, which is yet another term for leaf. (See Who Invented Paper Money?)
9. What were the First Ever Books written at that time?
After understanding the techniques of making paper and using ink printing, various books were written. The content of these books was religious information, different types of stories, highly precious notes, etc. As per the records discovered by the archeologists, the first ever written book was The Epic of Gilgamesh. It was a mythical re-publishing of an important historical political figure. Also, check out the True History of Humpty Dumpty Rhyme.
10. What changes were seen in the 14th century?Photo by Boudewijn Huysmans on Unsplash
During this period, Jikji was printed in movable metal type form in Korea. Jikji is a Buddhist document that consists of a collection of Zen teachings. The translated version is named Anthology of Great Buddhist Priests’ Zen Teachings. (See Who Painted the Last Supper in the Sistine Chapel?)
11. When was the Printing Press invented?
During the year 1454, there was a revolution with the invention of the printing press in the process of how this book was made. A German printer, Johannes Gutenberg, publisher, inventor, and goldsmith, introduced the system of printing in Europe. He invented the first printing press with the aim of printing the Gutenberg Bible. After this invention, printing presses and printers were hugely in demand. (See How to Develop a New Product from Concept to Market?)
12. How were Books made in the 1800s?
The first book covers were designed in 1832. At that time, most books were just rewrites of the old horror stories, which soon came to be known as Penny Dreadful because they cost just a penny. It was during this time that new and aspiring publishers began printing hardback books. Though the only difference between the paperback and hardback was their covers, a misconception took place in people’s minds. They started to believe that the hardback books contain matter of great value while the paperbacks contain silly matter. (See What are the 3 Types of History?)
13. How this Book was made?
This is the title of a book written by a Californian-born author Mac Barnett published on 6-September- 2016. The book was published in hardcover and has 44 pages. It is considered one of New York’s best-selling creations by Mac. The book contains a few unexpected twists and turns. It made the readers laugh at the reality of bookmaking.
So, it must have been interesting to know how were books made in the 1800s and even before that. Now it is time to read the famous book called How This Book Was Made, by Mac. (Also read Why did Dumbledore have to Die in Harry Potter?)