During the ancient world, books were made of long scrolls. Unlike the modern book, the codex was the first information repository that we would recognize as a “book.” Although the codex was favored by the Christian community, it never gained widespread popularity in pagan Hellenistic times.
Today, books are created from many different types of non-book items. This diversity in book form offers insight into the future of the book. The versatility of the book form ensures its longevity. Besides being a source of reading, a book can be a decorative object, an artistic artifact, a storage device, or a resilient transmitter of knowledge, entertainment, and ideas.
Books can be printed on different paper qualities. Common grades include woodfree uncoated papers, machine finished coated papers, and special fine papers. The most commonly used sheet sizes are octavo (8vo) and 24mo. The octavo is folded into eight leaves and is up to 9+3/4 inches tall. Most hardcover books are octavo size.
The Library of Congress Classification system is one of the most widely recognized cataloging systems. It has a bias towards subjects well represented in US libraries at the time it was developed. However, it has a number of problems handling new subjects.
Another popular cataloging system is the Dewey Decimal System. This system is one of the earliest and is often biased towards subjects that are well represented in US libraries. ISBNs are the internationally recognized identification number for books. They are similar to product numbers found on other products, and are required for sale with wholesalers and online retailers. It is also a standard used to identify books for sale with bookstores. The call number is placed inside the book to determine the location of the book on shelves.
In the nineteenth century, copyright protection for books was introduced. This was followed by the establishment of the author bio section. The author’s biography usually consists of a single page with cover images, and the author’s name. Often, the bio section is followed by an epilogue and acknowledgments. The author bio does not need to be lengthy, but it should show the credibility of the author’s work in the book’s cover.
A book’s physical form may be made of drawings, photo albums, engravings, or even a cut-out doll. In the digital age, a book may be composed of a graphics card and digital screen, or other digital devices. It is possible to print books on demand with the new technology.
A book can be read and evaluated by a professional writer or reader. It can be studied by a group of people as a writing exercise or a spark for discussion. It can be owned by multiple individuals, stored in compact places, or conserved. It is also portable, travels short distances, and can be shared.
In the nineteenth century, a woman named Ellen received a book by a sentimental poet named Felicia Hemans. When her daughter died a few years later, she adapted the lines of the poem to create a memorial.