Last Updated on January 7, 2021 by Neil Mackengie
It took man many thousands of years to reach the stage where he could produce anything that even remotely resembles a book as we know it. So who we consider the first “book”, we have to think of something quite different. In fact, the earliest books we know about were not really books in the modern sense of the word. Several thousands yes ago, the Babylonians and Assyrians made tablets of clay. On these tablets, they had inscribed records and writings which they wished to preserve.
With a sharp-pointed tool, they cut wedge-shaped, or “cuneiform”, characters while the clay was still wet. To make the records more permanent, the clay tablets were placed in an oven and baked. Sometimes the record was a long one and occupied many clay tablets. Such a series of tablets, or “pages”, might roughly be called a book.
The ancient Egyptians came to a step closer to the modem idea of a book. They made a kind of crude paper from an r‹x›d called “papyrus”. Flat sheets were made by hand, and pale yellow sheets were pasted together into long strips, which were wound around cylindrical rollers of bone or wood.
Using sooty water as ink, the Egyptians wrote down poetry, stories, and records of all kinds in hieroglyphics, or picture writing. Since the rolls were not convenient to handle, the writing was sometimes done on separate sheets. These sheets were then laced together with cords to make a crude book. Other ancient peoples, including the Greeks and Romans, made books that were wound around rollers.
Who Invented The First Book?
The Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed in Europe with movable metal type, by Johannes Gutenberg.