Who Invented Books?

The Arabs were the first to produce paper books around 8th century AD. The art of papermaking was learnt from the Chinese. The books for the blind, written in Braille script, were invented by Louis Braille. The first book, titled Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Songs by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged for Them, for the blind was published in 1839. John Hendricks, the chairman of Discovery Communications, claims to be the inventor of ‘e-books’. He has sued both Amazon (Kindle) and Sony (e-book reader) for copyright infringement but the case is yet to be decided.

The early books didn’t resemble the current books in appearance. The earliest of them were mere text written on clay tablets or metal sheets or the bark of the trees. Punctuation was unheard of and they were written in ‘boustrophedon’ style i.e. the lines in the text were written alternatively both from left to right and right to left.

BooksThe Egyptians developed a special kind of paper ‘papyrus’ and began a tradition of scrolls. The Greeks borrowed this form of keeping records. The Romans, after conquering the Greeks, learnt a lot from them. The Romans also adopted the Greek-style books – scrolls. The things didn’t change until the advent of Christianity.

Early Christians were looking for a separate identity. The Christians writers wanted their writings to be different from the writings of Roman and Greek writers, who were pagans. They started using codex. Codex very much resembles the modern book but the pages are made not of paper but of wood or some other material. Use of codex became widespread in Europe around 5th century and then came the Arabs with their modern paper books.

Category: Inventions

One Comment on “Who Invented Books?”

Stephanie wrote:

This is awesome.

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