26 September 2011

A book in the making

Last week we got a glimpse into the future - but what about in the past. How are were books made? Ever wanted to know - the answer might be right here :)

Before Gutenberg, making a book meant writing it by hand. Then came the printing press. First this was a super-manual process of loading each individual letter into the plate, (not the nice typing the guy in the video gets) which explains some of the creative spelling - what if you ran out of the right letter. Things clearly got a little bit easier as technology improved, but craft was still important. Here's a 1947 video on the process of book making.

You've got to wonder with the increase in eBook if in a few years this technology will be nothing but a curiosity. And even without eBooks things have changed ... now you can print the book you want in the store. If, like me, you don't have one of these near you? Check this out.

In some ways it's amazing how similar these process are - what struck me as the biggest difference was the number of people involved.
 So, there you have it, the past and the present side by side. And the future... we're all waiting to see.

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