How The Book Has Changed Over Time

The book form has undergone a tremendous reincarnation over the ages. Find out how far they’ve come in the last 5,500 years.

The very first thing I remember falling in love with was a book. The illustrations tempting a child’s mind, the text beyond comprehension, and a whole world of stories that I was both fascinated by and couldn’t believe. I must have been two, with no concept of what love is, but knowing somehow, that I had stumbled upon something I was staying with for a long time. 

And now here I am. Three decades later. Still very much in love with books.

Books have been one of the most powerful mediums of imparting knowledge, entertaining audiences and bearing witness to history over the ages. Once there was language, it must have been only a matter of time before somebody must have wanted to store their ideas and their stories in a way that they could pass down from one generation to the next.

The book form has undergone a tremendous reincarnation over the ages. Each form has been quite novel in its make and appeal. From illustrated manuscripts that were once considered a luxury item that only the wealthy could afford to have in their home libraries to cheaply produced paperbacks meant for the working class that was sold for a penny during the 1800s, the metamorphosis of books and their formats is nothing short of interesting. 

So I decided to put together a few (okay, not so few) graphics on the evolution of the book form. 

What do you think comes next in the evolution of books and their forms? What is the next big change books are going to undergo? Tell us in the comments below!

This post is part of our November 2019 Issue

By Sanskriti Nagar

I'm a storyteller on a journey - to connect people with places, the past with the present, the contemporary with the traditional. I'm just stepping into the shoes of an explorer, aspiring to be a globetrotter, and someday, a novelist. Follow me through my journeys, and if something does resonate with you, or you'd like me to cover a story for you, I'd love to catch up. (PS: I love coffee!)

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