A Brief Note On Johannes Gutenberg And The Invention Of Books

798 Words Oct 18th, 2014 4 Pages
Books are something that a lot of people in today’s society likely take for granted. Whether they are avid readers or someone who only picks up a book when absolutely necessary, it is unlikely that when picking up that book one thinks of it as something rare. Books on almost any topic can be found at several libraries and bookstores all across the world, but there was a time where books were as rare and expensive as precious metals and gems. Johannes Gutenberg was a fifteenth century German blacksmith and goldsmith, whose invention of the movable type printing press revolutionized the production of books. Before Gutenberg’s printing press, books were created by hand. Scribes would cut out sheets of papyrus or parchment, which was usually cow, goat, or sheep skin that would be used as writing surfaces. Parchment eventually took over as the primary surface for writing because I lasted longer under many conditions, it could be written on both sides, and the ink could be erased by scraping. Over time the Romans began to combine pieces of parchment together and bind them on one side between two wooden covers, this type of book which is similar to the kind we see today, was known as codex. Writing on these surfaces was a slow, painstaking process that was only able to produce one book that was often times lost due to war, neglect, deterioration, or blatant destruction. The difficulty of creating books before the invention of the press made them widely unavailable. Although a…

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