History of books fascinating





Local News

The history of reading and writing is a topic that probably interests all readers. Reading what someone else has written brings a sense of connectedness. What we read and how it bonds us can reflect our personalities and our experiences as individuals. The history of books, readers and reading can offer insight into the nature and history of society as a whole. The topic is a fascinating onewith several interesting aspects. Humans began to develop writing systems sometime in the 30th century BCE in ancient Mesopotamia, which included the Sumerian, Akkadian, and ancient Egyptian civilisations. While the earliest examples of written text date back to around 2600 BCE, these early writings were written on stone tablets and depending on who you ask, don’t count as books. The codex was the historical ancestor of the modern book. Instead of being composed of sheets of paper, it used sheets of vellum, papyrus, or other materials. The term codex is often used for ancient manuscript books, with handwritten contents. A codex, much like the modern book, is bound by stacking the pages and securing one set of edges by a variety of methods over the centuries. The earliest printing technology originated in China, Japan, and Korea. The imperial state of China produced a large volume of printed material, printed by rubbing paper against inked woodblock. The knowledge of print technology reached the Western world around the 13th century. Woodblock printing attained widespread popularity by the 15th century. Although the Gutenberg Bible is not as old as other books that have survived throughout history, it is significant as the first book to be printed using a printing press. The book was printed by Johannes Gutenberg, who invented the printing press and started the Printing Revolution, around 1450-1455. The earliest written texts were meant to be read out loud. The characters were written in a continuous stream, to be separated by the skilled reader when reading out loud. Punctuation was used for the first time only around 200 BCE. The masses were still illiterate, and written material only reached them through public readings. The performances of jugglers and storytellers were popular in the 11th and 12th centuries CE. Reading from a book was considered pleasant dinnertime entertainment from the Roman times to the 19th century. The ancient art of reading aloud has a number of benefits for adults, from helping improve our memories and understand complex texts, to strengthening emotional bonds between people. Far from being a rare or bygone activity, it is still surprisingly common in modern life. In a time when our interactions with others are limited and the barrage of information we take in are often overwhelming, perhaps it is worth making a bit more time for listening to reading aloud. Tea and Tales is a great example of this. Come along to Te Takeretanga o Kura hau po¯ on the first Thursday of every month and Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom on the last Friday of each month and enjoy local readers sharing their favourite stories and poetry.