20 Amazing Facts about the History of the Book

Rebecca Romney holds us down and stuffs our heads with all the knowledge!

Official Website of Rebecca Romney

  • Before books were read and stored in their current form, they were actually used in the form of scrolls. The scrolls were pieces of papyrus pounded together. You would hold one section in your left hand, read the open section, then rollout further the section in your right hand to continue reading.


  • A scroll was called volumen in Latin, which comes from the verb “to roll.” It’s also where we get our word “volume,” even though our books no longer retain that shape.


  • Groups of scrolls were often stored in containers similar to hat boxes.


  • Each scroll would have a little descriptive tag hanging from the end of it to identify what the scroll was.


  • The format we’ve come to expect in books developed about the 2nd century CE: the codex.


  • Codex is the Latin word for “tree trunk”—this format was so named because…

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About bibliodeviant

This is the journal of Jonathan Kearns Rare Books & Curiosities, and all who sail in her. Information, updates, rantings, musings and pretty pictures related (loosely I would imagine) to the world of rare and antiquarian books will be brought to you by a number of different personalities, some of whom cohabit in the same person's head. We welcome queries, comments and contributions of virtually any description, and in return we will attempt to rein in our multitudinous personality disorders and deliver wonders and joys beyond compare. At least that's the plan. View all posts by bibliodeviant

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