You are on page 1of 11

Middle Ages

Main article: Manuscript
Folio 14 recto of the 5th centuryVergilius Romanus contains an author portrait of Virgil. Note the bookcase(capsa),
reaing stan an the te!t "ritten "ithout "or spacing in rustic capitals.
#he fall of the Roman $mpire in the 5th century %.&. sa" the ecline of the culture of ancient Rome.
'apyrus became ifficult to obtain ue to lack of contact "ith $gypt, anparchment, "hich ha been
use for centuries, became the main "riting material.
(onasteries carrie on the )atin "riting traition in the *estern Roman $mpire. +assioorus, in the
monastery of Vi,arium (establishe aroun 54-), stresse the importance of copying te!ts.
1eneict of Nursia, in his Rule of Saint Benedict (complete aroun the mile of the 2th century)
later also promote reaing.
#he Rule of Saint Benedict (+h. 3)V444), "hich set asie certain times
for reaing, greatly influence the monastic culture of the (ile %ges an is one of the reasons "hy
the clergy "ere the preominant reaers of books. #he traition an style of the Roman $mpire still
ominate, but slo"ly the peculiar meie,al book culture emerge.
1efore the in,ention an aoption of the printing press, almost all books "ere copie by han, "hich
mae books e!pensi,e an comparati,ely rare. 0maller monasteries usually ha only a fe" o5en
books, meium6si5e perhaps a fe" hunre. 1y the 7th century, larger collections hel aroun 5--
,olumes an e,en at the en of the (ile %ges, the papal library in %,ignon an 'aris library of
the 0orbonne hel only aroun 8,--- ,olumes.
1urgunian author an scribe 9ean (i:lot, from his Miracles de Notre Dame, 15th century.
#he scriptorium of the monastery "as usually locate o,er the chapter house. %rtificial light "as
forbien for fear it may amage the manuscripts. #here "ere fi,e types of scribes;
Calligraphers, "ho ealt in fine book prouction
Copyists, "ho ealt "ith basic prouction an corresponence
Correctors, "ho collate an compare a finishe book "ith the manuscript from "hich it
ha been prouce
Illuminators, "ho painte illustrations
Rubricators, "ho painte in the re letters
#he bookmaking process "as long an laborious. #he parchment ha to be prepare, then the
unboun pages "ere planne an rule "ith a blunt tool or lea, after "hich the te!t "as "ritten by
the scribe, "ho usually left blank areas for illustration an rubrication. Finally, the book "as boun
by the bookbiner.
&esk "ith chaine books in the(alatestiana )ibrary of +esena, 4taly.
&ifferent types of ink "ere kno"n in anti=uity, usually prepare from soot an gum, an later also
from gall nuts an iron ,itriol. #his ga,e "riting a bro"nish black color, but black or bro"n "ere not
the only colors use. #here are te!ts "ritten in re or e,en gol, an ifferent colors "ere use for
illumination. For ,ery lu!urious manuscripts the "hole parchment "as colore purple, an the te!t
"as "ritten on it "ith gol or sil,er (for e!ample, +oe! %rgenteus).
4rish monks introuce spacing bet"een "ors in the >th century. #his facilitate reaing, as these
monks tene to be less familiar "ith )atin. ?o"e,er, the use of spaces bet"een "ors i not
become commonplace before the 18th century. 4t has been argue that the use of spacing bet"een
"ors sho"s the transition from semi6,ocali5e reaing into silent reaing.
#he first books use parchment or ,ellum (calfskin) for the pages. #he book co,ers "ere mae of
"oo an co,ere "ith leather. 1ecause rie parchment tens to assume the form it ha before
processing, the books "ere fitte "ith clasps or straps. &uring the later (ile %ges, "hen public
libraries appeare, up to the 1@th century, books "ere often chaine to a bookshelf or a esk to
pre,ent theft. #hese chaine books are calle libri catenati.
%t first, books "ere copie mostly in monasteries, one at a time. *ith the rise of uni,ersities in the
1<th century, the (anuscript culture of the time le to an increase in the eman for books, an a
ne" system for copying books appeare. #he books "ere i,ie into unboun lea,es (pecia),
"hich "ere lent out to ifferent copyists, so the spee of book prouction "as consierably
increase. #he system "as maintaine by secular stationers guils, "hich prouce both religious
an non6religious material.
9uaism has kept the art of the scribe ali,e up to the present. %ccoring to 9e"ish traition,
the #orah scroll place in a synagogue must be "ritten by han on parchment an a printe book
"oul not o, though the congregation may use printe prayer books an printe copies of the
0criptures are use for stuy outsie the synagogue. % soferAscribeA is a highly respecte member
of any obser,ant 9e"ish community.
Arab printing techniques
#his section may contain inappropriate or
misinterpreted citations that do not verify the text. 'lease
help impro,e this article by checking for inaccuracies. (help, talk, get
in,ol,eB) (September 2!"
%rabs also prouce an boun books in the 4slamic Colen %ge (mi @th century to 185@),
e,eloping a,ance techni=ues in 4slamic calligraphy, miniatures an bookbining. % number of
cities in the meie,al 4slamic "orl ha book prouction centers an book markets. Da=ubi (. @7>)
says that in his time 1agha ha o,er a hunre booksellers.
1ooksshops "ere often situate
aroun the to"nEs principal mos=ue
as in (arrakesh, (orocco, that has a street
name #utubiyyin or book sellers in $nglish an the famous Foutoubia (os=ue is name so
because of its location in this street.
#he meie,al (uslim "orl also use a metho of reproucing reliable copies of a book in large
=uantities kno"n as check reaing, in contrast to the traitional metho of a single scribe proucing
only a single copy of a single manuscript. 4n the check reaing metho, only Aauthors coul authori5e
copies, an this "as one in public sessions in "hich the copyist rea the copy alou in the
presence of the author, "ho then certifie it as accurate.A
*ith this check6reaing system, Aan
author might prouce a o5en or more copies from a single reaing,A an "ith t"o or more reaings,
Amore than one hunre copies of a single book coul easily be prouce.A
1y using as "riting material the relati,ely cheap paper instea of parchment or papyrus the (uslims,
in the "ors of 'eersen Aaccomplishe a feat of crucial significance not only to the history of the
4slamic book, but also to the "hole "orl of booksA
Wood block printing
4n "ooblock printing, a relief image of an entire page "as car,e into blocks of "oo, inke, an
use to print copies of that page. #his metho originate in +hina, in the ?an ynasty (before 88-
%&), as a metho of printing on te!tiles an later paper, an "as "iely use throughout $ast %sia.
#he olest ate book printe by this metho is $he Diamond Sutra (@2@ %&).
#he metho (calle %oodcut "hen use in art) arri,e in $urope in the early 14th century. 1ooks
(kno"n as block6books), as "ell as playing6cars an religious pictures, began to be prouce by
this metho. +reating an entire book "as a painstaking process, re=uiring a han6car,e block for
each pageG an the "oo blocks tene to crack, if store for long. #he monks or people "ho "rote
them "ere pai highly.
Movable type and incunabula
% 15th6century 4ncunable. Notice the blin6toole co,er, corner bosses an clasps.
Main articles: Mo&able type and Incunable
A0electe #eachings of 1uhist 0ages an 0on (astersA, the earliest kno"n book printe "ith mo,able metal type,
1<>>. 1ibliothH=ue nationale e France.
#he +hinese in,entor 1i 0heng mae mo,able type of earthen"are circa 1-45, but there are no
kno"n sur,i,ing e!amples of his printing. %roun 145-, in "hat is commonly regare as an
inepenent in,ention, 9ohannes Cutenberg in,ente mo,able type in $urope, along "ith
inno,ations in casting the type base on a matri! an han moul. #his in,ention graually mae
books less e!pensi,e to prouce, an more "iely a,ailable.
$arly printe books, single sheets an images "hich "ere create before 15-1 in $urope are kno"n
as incunables or incunabula. A% man born in 145<, the year of the fall of +onstantinople, coul look
back from his fiftieth year on a lifetime in "hich about eight million books ha been printe, more
perhaps than all the scribes of $urope ha prouce since +onstantine foune his city in %.&.
Modern world
0team6po"ere printing presses became popular in the early 17th century. #hese machines coul
print 1,1-- sheets per hour, but "orkers coul only set 8,--- letters per hour.
.citation needed/
(onotype an linotype typesetting machines "ere introuce in the late 17th century. #hey coul
set more than 2,--- letters per hour an an entire line of type at once.
#he centuries after the 15th century "ere thus spent on impro,ing both the printing press an the
conitions for freeom of the press through the graual rela!ation of restricti,e censorship la"s. 0ee
also intellectual property, public omain, copyright. 4n mi68-th century, $uropean book prouction
ha risen to o,er 8--,--- titles per year.
Book manufacture in modern times
Main article: Boo'binding
See also: (ublishing
#he spine of the book is an important aspect in book esign, especially in the co,er esign. *hen the books are
stacke up or store in a shelf, the etails on the spine is the only ,isible surface that contains the information about
the book. 4n stores, it is the etails on the spine that attract buyersE attention first.
#he methos use for the printing an bining of books continue funamentally unchange from
the 15th century into the early 8-th century. *hile there "as moremechani5ation, a book printer in
17-- ha much in common "ith Cutenberg.
CutenbergEs in,ention "as the use of mo,able metal types, assemble into "ors, lines, an pages
an then printe by letterpress to create multiple copies.
(oern paper books are printe on papers esigne specifically for printe books. #raitionally,
book papers are off6"hite or lo"6"hite papers (easier to rea), are opa=ue to minimise the sho"6
through of te!t from one sie of the page to the other an are (usually) mae to tighter caliper or
thickness specifications, particularly for case6boun books. &ifferent paper =ualities are use
epening on the type of book; (achine finishe coate papers, "oofree uncoate papers, coate
fine papers an special fine papers are common paper graes.
#oay, the maIority of books are printe by offset lithography. *hen a book is printe the pages are
lai out on the plate so that after the printe sheet is fole the pages "ill be in the correct
se=uence. 1ooks ten to be manufacture no"aays in a fe" stanar si5es. #he si5es of
books are usually specifie as Atrim si5eA; the si5e of the page after the sheet has been fole an
trimme. #he stanar si5es result from sheet si5es (therefore machine si5es) "hich became
popular 8-- or <-- years ago, an ha,e come to ominate the inustry. 1ritish con,entions in this
regar pre,ail throughout the $nglish6speaking "orl, e!cept for the J0%. #he $uropean book
manufacturing inustry "orks to a completely ifferent set of stanars.
Current processes
1ook co,ers
0ome books, particularly those "ith shorter runs (i.e. fe"er copies) "ill be printe on sheet6fe offset
presses, but most books are no" printe on "eb presses, "hich are fe by a continuous roll of
paper, an can conse=uently print more copies in a shorter time. %s the prouction line circulates, a
complete AbookA is collecte together in one stack, ne!t to another, an another.
% web press carries out the foling itself, eli,ering bunles of signatures (sections) reay to go into
the gathering line. Notice that "hen the book is being printe it is being printe one (or t"o)
signatures at a time, not one complete book at a time. $!cess numbers are printe to make up for
any spoilage ue to Amake6reaiesA or test pages to assure final print =uality.
% make-ready is the preparatory "ork carrie out by the pressmen to get the printing press up to the
re=uire =uality of impression. 4nclue in make6reay is the time taken to mount the plate onto the
machine, clean up any mess from the pre,ious Iob, an get the press up to spee. %s soon as the
pressman ecies that the printing is correct, all the make6reay sheets "ill be iscare, an the
press "ill start making books. 0imilar make reaies take place in the foling an bining areas, each
in,ol,ing spoilage of paper.
%fter the signatures are fole an gathere, they mo,e into the bindery. 4n the mile of last
century there "ere still many trae biners K stan6alone bining companies "hich i no printing,
speciali5ing in bining alone. %t that time, because of the ominance of letterpress printing,
typesetting an printing took place in one location, an bining in a ifferent factory. *hen type "as
all metal, a typical bookEs "orth of type "oul be bulky, fragile an hea,y. #he less it "as mo,e in
this conition the better; so printing "oul be carrie out in the same location as the typesetting.
'rinte sheets on the other han coul easily be mo,e. No", because of
increasing computeri5ation of preparing a book for the printer, the typesetting part of the Iob has
flo"e upstream, "here it is one either by separately contracting companies "orking for the
publisher, by the publishers themsel,es, or e,en by the authors. (ergers in the book manufacturing
inustry mean that it is no" unusual to fin a binery "hich is not also in,ol,e in book printing (an
,ice ,ersa).
4f the book is a harback its path through the binery "ill in,ol,e more points of acti,ity than if it is
a paperback.
Jnse"n bining, is no" increasingly common. #he signatures of a book can also be hel together
by A0myth se"ingA using neeles, A(c+ain se"ingA, using rille holes often use in schoolbook
bining, or Anotch biningA, "here gashes about an inch long are mae at inter,als through the fol
in the spine of each signature. #he rest of the bining process is similar in all instances. 0e"n an
notch boun books can be boun as either harbacks or paperbacks.
1ook pages
A(aking casesA happens off6line an prior to the bookEs arri,al at the bining line. 4n the most basic
case6making, t"o pieces of carboar are place onto a glue piece of cloth "ith a space bet"een
them into "hich is glue a thinner boar cut to the "ith of the spine of the book. #he o,erlapping
eges of the cloth (about 5L@A all roun) are fole o,er the boars, an presse o"n to ahere.
%fter case6making the stack of cases "ill go to the foil stamping area for aing ecorations an
Digital printing
Recent e,elopments in book manufacturing inclue the e,elopment of igital printing. 1ook pages
are printe, in much the same "ay as an office copier "orks, using tonerrather than ink. $ach book
is printe in one pass, not as separate signatures. &igital printing has permitte the manufacture of
much smaller =uantities than offset, in part because of the absence of make reaies an of spoilage.
Mne might think of a "eb press as printing =uantities o,er 8---, =uantities from 85- to 8--- being
printe on sheet6fe presses, an igital presses oing =uantities belo" 85-. #hese numbers are of
course only appro!imate an "ill ,ary from supplier to supplier, an from book to book epening on
its characteristics. &igital printing has opene up the possibility of print6on6eman, "here no books
are printe until after an orer is recei,e from a customer.
Main article: e)boo'
#he term e6book is a contraction of Aelectronic bookAG it refers to a book6length publication in igital
%n e6book is usually mae a,ailable through the internet, but also on +&6RM( an other
forms. $61ooks may be rea either ,ia a computer or by means of a portable book isplay e,ice
kno"n as an e6book reaer, such as the 0ony Reaer, 1arnes N Noble Nook, Fobo eReaer, or
the %ma5on Finle. #hese e,ices attempt to mimic the e!perience of reaing a print book.
Information explosion
#hroughout the 8-th century, libraries ha,e face an e,er6increasing rate of publishing, sometimes
calle an information e!plosion. #he a,ent of electronic publishing an the internet means that
much ne" information is not printe in paper books, but is mae a,ailable online through a igital
library, on +&6RM(, or in the form of e6books. %n on6line book is an e6book that is a,ailable online
through the internet.
#hough many books are prouce igitally, most igital ,ersions are not a,ailable to the public, an
there is no ecline in the rate of paper publishing.
#here is an effort, ho"e,er, to con,ert books
that are in thepublic omain into a igital meium for unlimite reistribution an infinite a,ailability.
#his effort is spearheae by 'roIect Cutenberg combine "ith &istribute 'roofreaers.
#here ha,e also been ne" e,elopments in the process of publishing books. #echnologies such as
'M& or Aprint on emanA, "hich make it possible to print as fe" as one book at a time, ha,e mae
self6publishing much easier an more afforable. Mn6eman publishing has allo"e publishers, by
a,oiing the high costs of "arehousing, to keep lo"6selling books in print rather than eclaring them
out of print.
Book design
Main article: Boo' design
1ook esign is the art of incorporating the content, style, format, esign, an se=uence of the
,arious components of a book into a coherent "hole.
4n the "ors of 9an #schichol, book esign Athough largely forgotten toay, methos an rules
upon "hich it is impossible to impro,e ha,e been e,elope o,er centuries. #o prouce perfect
books these rules ha,e to be brought back to life an applie.A Richar ?enel escribes book
esign as Aan arcane subIectA an refers to the nee for a conte!t to unerstan "hat that means.
Main article: Boo' si*e
Real6si5e facsimile of +oe! Cigas
#he "orlEs largest book
#he si5e of a moern book is base on the printing area of a common flatbe press. #he pages of
type "ere arrange an clampe in a frame, so that "hen printe on a sheet of paper the full si5e of
the press, the pages "oul be right sie up an in orer "hen the sheet "as fole, an the fole
eges trimme.
#he most common book si5es are;
Ouarto (4to); the sheet of paper is fole t"ice, forming four lea,es (eight pages)
appro!imately 1161< inches (ca <- cm) tall
Mcta,o (@,o); the most common si5e for current harco,er books. #he sheet is fole three
times into eight lea,es (12 pages) up to 7 PA (ca 8< cm) tall.
&uo&ecimo (18mo); a si5e bet"een @,o an 12mo, up to > PA (ca 1@ cm) tall
0e!toecimo (12mo); the sheet is fole four times, forming 12 lea,es (<8 pages) up to 2 PA
(ca 15 cm) tall
0i5es smaller than 12mo are;
84mo; up to 5 PA (ca 1< cm) tall.
<8mo; up to 5A (ca 18 cm) tall.
4@mo; up to 4A (ca 1- cm) tall.
24mo; up to <A (ca @ cm) tall.
0mall books can be calle booklets.
0i5es larger than =uarto are;
Folio; up to 15A (ca <@ cm) tall.
$lephant Folio; up to 8<A (ca 5@ cm) tall.
%tlas Folio; up to 85A (ca 2< cm) tall.
&ouble $lephant Folio; up to 5-A (ca 18> cm) tall.
#he largest e!tant meie,al manuscript in the "orl is +oe! Cigas 78 Q 5- Q 88 cm. #he "orlEs
largest book mae of stone is in Futhoa" 'agoa (1urma).
#he longest book title in the "orl is 2>- "ors long
.citation needed/