Welcome to my greatest passion in life, BOOKS! Come on in kick off your shoes, grab a cup of tea [Java] and join me while I discuss my life and books that I read, authors I love or dislike, post reviews, ask for your opinions, just chat about stuff, and maybe swap a book or two.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

When Did the Writing of Books Begin?

In surfing the book scene I came across an article on the writing of books and found the information quite intriguing...

"In the year 1456, Johann Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer printed their great Bible. Now the question?????

How many new books do you think had been printed by 1498, 42 years later, and just 500 years ago?
Some of you may know, but most people I talk with, even most librarians, are astonished when they hear the number.

Five hundred years ago, the new presses had spread like brushfire through Europe. The people had suddenly come into possession of some fifteen million new books. Scholars argue about the number. It could've been as few as eight million or as many as twenty four. But the output of new books had been staggering by any reasonable estimate. And those books reflected some thirty thousand titles. I find this to be astonishing!

Fifteen million books had been flung into a world where scholars would travel miles to visit a library stocked with twenty hand-written volumes. And it'd all happened in 42 years or a little more.

Let's see if we can put that in perspective. Where were we, you and I, 42 years ago? Let's see...??? I was living in a resort area near the beach in upstate NY, hmmm... I still live near the beach...just on the West coast this time instead of the East coast....but neither here nor there, let's continue....

Of course some of you hadn't been born yet. But let me give you a little time-line here:
  • The programmable computer, first conceived by Charles Babbage in the 1830s, wasn't finally built until the 1930s.
  • The computer of 1956 was a huge isolated machine.
  • In 1943 Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, had said, I think there's a world market for maybe five computers.
  • In July, 1958, a patent war was underway.
  • By 1969, complete central processing were added to units
  • Then Noyce formed a new company, INTEL, for INTegrated Electronics, and he started producing whole computer mother-boards.
  • Costs plunged.
  • Integrated circuits first really touched our lives a few years later when we all started carrying pocket calculators. But none of us yet had a clue where all this was going. Who could have guessed???
  • Even with a calculator in his pocket, the president of Digital Equipment Company could say, as late as 1977, "There's no reason people would want computers in their homes." Little did he know????
  • Then came a key invention -- the invention of modern software.
  • Software made it possible for you and me to use our computers without writing their programs.
  • At that point computers promptly did enter our homes, and they were soon entering the closest quarters of our daily lives as well. I got my 1st computer in 1995, and didn't have a clue how to use it. Wow look at me now!
  • Today we all can have a computer not only in our homes or on our laps, but in our hands ....

I remember back in the 1970s, later part, reading an article about the "future" where it said one day people would be able sit on the beach and receive phone calls and be able to shop everywhere with just a plastic card? That was absurd to think of at that time and I remember laughing at such a predidction...it further said that people would be able to shop with swiping their arms over a board that would read all your personal info as it would be a chip implanted beneath your skin??? Hmmmm I wonder when that little invention will come...no wait we already have that technology ...

But today the world changes so fast that to buy a new computer or phone is a challenge and frankly quite disturbing, because by the time you get it into your car; drive home; go into the house; read the directions; and figure out how to use it and set it up; it is already obsolete.... is that not the frustrating truth of it all?

I recently had to buy a camera and experienced that same type of choice...my gosh what do I get the varieties were overwhelming...which one????

So as far as books you can now; get them in book stores; on the web; on your palm pilot; cd; or even on your phones....reading a book is just a look down ....I for one love it, because I want to read them all...however, when it comes to sitting down for a relaxing hour or two, I want to curl up with a paper book. One I can touch and feel and enjoy the words in print in front of my eyes....I also enjoy the artwork of the illustrator and the excitment of the prelude....

Yes books have come a long way, but I still want the old fashion book, the one I can look at in print and color...collecting them is my passion and the room for them all has become my challenge!

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