Books Before Nook

Have you ever gotten lost in a library? Well, I get lost in books! Read More to learn the history of books, paper and writing.

The Firsts and Other Early Things

In most early countries, like the Ancient Egyptians, writing was mostly a bunch of pictures that represented what they meant. Also, not many people then could read or write, so only royal people or priests were taught to read or write. But very soon people learned how to make inks and papers faster, but not more efficiently, so many people learned to write.

Early books

Most early books were in the form of scrolls, not books. The scrolls were made of wood or other hard materials, and the paper was not really the paper we have today. It was usually papyrus, the best writing material around at the time. Soon the Ancient Egyptians, who made papyrus, crumbled and the art of papyrus and hieroglyphs was lost. Pretty soon people went back to writing on rocks and wood, which were really hard to write on.

Chinese Paper

A few hundred years later in 105 C.E., the Chinese invented paper. It still wasn’t like the paper today, because it was translucent, so they could only write on one side, and they were fragile. Soon they made better paper, but no other countries knew until two captured Chinese soldiers revealed the secret art. Very soon people had many papers on one subject, so they turned them into books, thus creating the art of bookbinding, which originated in India. The first books had flat spines and on the spine, cover or back. Not until people had better books did they have anything on the spine, cover or back, and when they did it was mostly for decoration.

A source of Communication

Early on, people often had messengers deliver messages, because people had discovered language before any kind of long distance communication besides this. Then people wrote on huge stone blocks that the messenger could not carry, so the job disappeared. Then there were early forms of paper, so people hired new workers to jot down messages, which was a very well paying job at the time, to give to the messengers. This shows us that it was easier to use paper to communicate than travel to a person who lived several miles away, probably forgetting the message because you didn’t write it down. Also, people could write to others as an easier source of communication.

E Readers

Now that technology has replaced books, more people are staying home reading off of computers or electric reading devices. But in my opinion electronics will never match up to books.

Fact Box

Did you know…

  • That China had the first paper money?
  • That some people would travel from town to town reading books to people who could not for money?
  • That the first symbols were most likely used by cave painters during the Neothlic age?
  • That early paper was translucent?