by Heather Oberlander and Janine Sobeck, dramaturgs

Do you love to read? Is your home or office full of books? In a world where books can be delivered instantly to your e-reader, it’s hard to imagine a time when reading a book was a rare privilege. And yet, throughout the history of time, the wondrous stories and important information contained within the pages of books have not been always available to everyone. To see how far we have come, check out our brief look into the journey of books.

1200 B.C.

Phoenician_Alphabet_uaIt is around this time that the Phoenicians created the first known alphabet.

summariantablet copyThe first known use of writing was in Sumeria. People used clay tablets to record information about mining and crops.

1154 B.C.

old-scrollIt’s not known exactly when scrolls began to be used, but it was sometime around 1154 B.C. Scrolls were made out of stretched animal skin called parchment.

woodandwaxcodexThe next form of the book was the codex. It was 2 pieces of wood bound together and covered in wax. The writing would be scratched in to the wax. The Codex was so important that it is still the official name of a bound book.

1 A.D.

accordianfoldPaper was invented in China around 1 A.D. They folded it in to books accordion style. It took quite a while for this discovery to reach the rest of the world.

7 A.D.

scribeEventually people started putting parchment pages in to codexes. People start making copies of books called manuscripts. These copies are made by hand, usually by monks. It can take weeks or months to copy one book.

1439 A.D.

gutenbergpressJohannes Gutenberg invented moveable type print. Now after a page of a book is created it can be “stamped” onto paper multiple times.

1605 A.D.

donquixoteDon Quixote is considered the first western novel.

1754 A.D.

joinordieBenjamin Franklin created the first editorial comic urging the colonies to fight together.

1837 A.D.

Obadiah-Oldbuck-CoverThe Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck, considered the first comic book, was published in North America.

1935 A.D.

typewriterIBM creates the first commercially successful typewriter.

1971 A.D.

Chrisdesign-CD-DVD copyThe creator of e-books sends everyone on the internet a copy of the Declaration of Independence. It is the first known example of a computer virus!

1995 A.D.

amazonAmazon.com is launched as an online bookstore.

2004 A.D.

ereaderSony releases the first e-reader to use electronic paper technology.

2005 A.D

Princess_AcademyPrincess Academy by Shannon Hale is published.

2015 A.D.

What does the future hold?

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