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From printing press to e-book reading. We present you our choice of 5 things that changed the reading world:
Gutenber's book production
It is said that Gutenberg is a father of printed word and inventor of printing press. He definitely is, still, one of the most important figure in publishing world. And his bigger success wasn’t printing press but combination of his movable types and printing press which, by the way, took its origin from machines used in vineyards to press out juice. This hi-tech creation for those days changed book production forever from individual, handmade retail to mass production making books more accessible, popular and, therefore, getting mass audience (all of You) and not private reading sessions. Gutenberg could print nearly 4000 pages during one day, compared to only a few hand-made. His invention started a tech revolution in the publishing world and massively increased printing possibilities and needs.
Can you imagine reading a book with a candle in your hand? Well, sure you can and we too. It would be a real atmosphere builder, romantic or terrifying, depending on what kind of book you’re reading. The question is how long could you last like that and how many candles would you need to have? It’s great idea for thematic evening (like ‘Victorian reading’ of Wuthering Heights) or once a month reading session but wouldn’t work on daily basis. Candle's playing light may cause distraction and candles themselves may have a deadly effect on your book pages if you carelessly let them meet. Although the idea that reading in dim light can ruin your eyesight was named a myth, it can actually cause an eye strain so it’s better for your own reading sake to turn on the light and enjoy reading time little longer.
As far as Guttenberg’s actions popularized books in their print form and changed it’s production, online bookstores changed the way they are sold and obtained by us, readers. Book purchase process shortened dramatically thanks to online bookstores making book buy as simple as a single click. Due to international delivery (we know that, we partner with quite a lot of international booksellers) and reasonable prices a book can sail, fly or just go to his new owner in couple of days regardless of place of residence. Books appear in top three products that are most often bought on the net and online purchases stays no.1 book selling channel. And that’s not insignificant that all books are available at hand at once, even during night-time. What a vision! Not any more, it’s reality!
A lot of activities transferred to blogosphere today and book reviewing isn’t different in this respect. Book lovers, writer, reviewers, readers can ‘meet’ on the virtual ground and talk about things that matter for all parties - books. Everyone can be an active participant in this book world and everyone can be heard. Book bloggers and their reviews still evoke heated discussion (we wrote about that in past post Book Bloggers are Book Lovers) but we all know that book bloggers are people who really care about books, that’s why we’re all here :-) Online communities set up by book bloggers (on BookLikes, international community) create strong bonds, reading friendships and change reading into social activity. Blogging is simply fun and bring a lot of joy for both writers and readers. What’s more it’s useful for others. Majority of readers make use of online reviews and rely on online book recommendations during book search and book pick process. It's definitely a win-win situation
E-readers with E-books that we can read thanks to E-paper changed not only the way we read, but also how we perceive book as such, collect them and interact with them. Even if you’re not an e-reader owner or e-book fan, you have to admit that this technology rocks! Thanks to e-readers book reading has no boundaries any more. It can be done anywhere and anytime (including night) and your library can have unlimited space with nearly endless shelves. The popularity of e-reading technologies is indisputable. In 2012 20% of Americans owned ereader and in January of 2013 26%, in comparison to 10% in 2011. Each year ebooks and ereaders sell soar along with the amount of books read by ebooks fans. Research shows that e-technology owners read more than owners of paper books and once they try e-reading they admit that they cannot stop.
We could list much more inventions that had or still have an influence on our reading life (e.g. glasses, comfy armchair) but we're curious what changed yours? Fell free to let your imagination go wild in comments.