Wed. Nov 29th, 2023

From bedtime stories to heavy course books. Books have always been man’s best friend. There are many books that you can choose from. From picture books to memoirs, the choices are endless. You can simply go to the library and get your favorite Thomas Jones Book as well. But these books have a long history. So join us as we walk down the timeline to learn all about books!

Definition of Books

Nowadays, a book comes with pages with print that are put together. However, over time, there have been different versions of the book. People have used different things to note their writing down. These include bamboo, tablets, and sheets of papyrus. And slowly they went through changes to how they are today.

Invention of the First Book

Different people had different ways of writing stuff down. The first books date back to the Mesopotamian people in 3500 BCE. These were not really books but scrolls. While the oldest book is the Diamond Sutra. It features the woodblock printing method. Later there were monks who copied books down line by line. This made owning a book very expensive.

From 3500 to 3000 BC

The Mesopotamians were the first writers famous for using clay tablets to write. They wrote with the calamus, a triangle-ended tool. After writing on the wet clay, they left the tablets near the fire to dry. These tablets were later found in Iraq with a count of around 20,000. So, showing how even in ancient times, writing was a thing.

Early 3000 BC

While the Egyptians had a better way to make their books. They were the ones to bring the papyrus. This paper-like thing was the best way to save sacred writings. They even put these papers together to form books. So the earliest books date back to around 2400 BC. But books weren’t the only things they were making. They used the papyrus to make long scrolls too!

500 to 200 BC

The Greeks used the skin of sheep and goats as a place to write. This parchment was more durable than the papyrus. This method came into being when the city ran short of papyrus. The only thing that makes parchment different from leather is tanning. So it is also sensitive to weather changes and spoils easily.

600 to 800 AD

This was the time when pictures and books got together. The books at this time have decorations with gold and silver. Thus, making them a sought-after product. They even drew pictures in books to make it even more engaging. Thus, the practice of making books fancy dates back to 600 AD.

800 AD

This was the time when the books started using block printing. The Chinese brought the practice of dipping clay blocks into ink and stamping it on paper. This pressing of alphabets became famous as block printing. So this method also saves a lot of time and energy. Later, the Korean started a similar practice using bronze in place of clay.

1000 to 1400 AD

Chinese were the first people to invent the moveable type of blocks. So these blocks had a wooden main structure. But the properties of wood made it difficult to transfer ink to paper. As wood soaks up the ink. To counter this, Korea brought the first metal printing blocks. This lead to the first ever mass printing of books using the metal moving type. So the first press was set up in 1455 leading to a change in the world of books.

1500 AD

This was the time when pocketbooks became a thing. This idea took a start from a press in Italy. Thus, giving us the Italic font today. So, the use of this font got many words on one page. Thus, reducing the size of books and making them easy to carry. These books even had older Greek works in the form of a pocketbook.

1600 AD

This was the time when the Puritans brought the first book in America. This book was famous as “They Bay Psalm”. As previously, the most common subject of the books was religion. Thus, this book had the Book of Psalms from the Bible. To date, only eleven copies of this book exist. Making it one of the first, and most famous book of America.

1832 to 1860 AD

The cost of printing continued to decrease, and education improved. This was the time when paperbacks first came out in the UK. Each book cost a penny. Thus, they got the name “penny blood” or “penny number”. Cheap pulp paper was used in these books. Moreover, the most famous book at the time was “the Knight of the Road” series.

The 1900s

As the paperbacks were lower quality book. The hardbacks took the market by storm. The public was leaning towards more costly, hardback books. This was the perfect time when the Boni brothers started their Modern Library. Later, this was to turn into Random House. Making it one of the biggest publications today.

1937 Onwards

This was the time when Penguin brought the paperbacks back. But they did this with a little change in its design. They even took the risk of printing 20,000 books of famous titles. This was a big success for the company. As it took them to expanding into two sub names. That were Pelican, for education and Puffin, for young readers.


The era of tech starts with the invention of the first microprocessor in the 1970s. Thus, typing and other printing ways sped up. This even made editing and designing book much easier. This also was to bring the first ever book on a CD in the 1980s.

The Digital Age of Books

From the older times of block printing to modern print-on-demand methods. The world of books has seen a lot of changes. After 1971 when the first digital book came into being and internet age booming. The E-book became the next big thing.

Get Reading!

Now you know all about the history of books. It’s time to get to know all about your favorite author. The memoir, From Willard Straight to Wall Street author, Thomas Jones. Read his story and get a glimpse into his life!

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