The History of Books

The History of Books

The history of books is a lot longer than you might think. It has ancient roots. Way back in ancient Egypt, there were hieroglyphics on the inside of tombs and temples. The modern books that we are familiar with are not really considered to have had their beginning until about 800 AD. This is when the codex was invented by the Romans. A codex basically looks like a journal or notebook that has two covers that open towards each other on hinges or stitched together with string or leather or whatever else they used back in those days. The pages in between these covers were made out of papyrus paper which was made out of plant fibers in Egypt and animals' skins in Rome. 

Then people would write with lead pencils (which I find so amazing because lead is so poisonous), ink, paint, etc., on these papers using reed pens (made from reeds). This particular style lasted for about 600 years until around 1500 when printing presses came into play and printing machines were invented to produce paper more efficiently than before which makes sense because it's easy to see the relation between this invention and the rise in literacy rates after it came into play; most notably during the Renaissance period when people began writing more rather than only reading what was already written by established writers/authors/etc. But my favorite book is actually, surprisingly, about retirement!


So what's happening with books right now? Well, they are still being made out of paper which is a plant-based material. But instead of using ink to write on them, people are writing on them with computer printers which makes sense since most information these days is stored electronically rather than in written or spoken word. The internet has also created many forms of new media where content can be consumed much more effectively by readers/viewers/etc. This includes blogs (like this one!), websites for specific subjects like history or math or science or art or music that have unlimited amounts of information about those topics for people to consume when they want to learn something new about it without having to go through a book full of text in order to get there. There are forums where you can ask questions directly from other users who have already experienced what you're going through and want help themselves so they'll gladly give advice if you politely ask for it :) Another type of new media is social media sites like Facebook and Twitter where everyone can share their thoughts, opinions, etc. and engage in conversations with other people who may or may not agree with what they're saying that is relevant to the topic of discussion.


I'm currently taking a class called Writing for New Media and we're learning about the history of new media and how it has become such a huge part of our lives and will continue to be even more so (because new media is always evolving). It's interesting to see how much things have changed since I was really little. When I was younger, there weren't any cell phones, computers were only starting to become popular, there were no smart phones yet, etc. But now everything has changed! There's basically a computer (or smart phone) in everyone's pocket nowadays! And people are writing all over the internet about anything under the sun plus making movies/videos/etc. online too which used to be hard work when all you had was paper and pen or pencil back in the day! Technology has changed so much that books have almost become obsolete because people don't read anymore compared to before where most information came from books instead of just being stored electronically right on your phone/computer/etc. And this isn't necessarily a bad thing even though some people might disagree with me on this one because it can also teach you how much technology has advanced without having access to it yourself when you go back several centuries ago.


I hope that this piece has not only provided you with information but also some knowledge. I think that it's important to be aware of the history of books because people often take for granted how much technology has advanced and they need to know why this is so they can make more informed decisions on what they want to do in the future.