Books and Their Wordly Realm

What is a Book? A book is a set of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of ink, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is called a leaf, and each side of a leaf is called a page. A set of text-filled or illustrated pages produced in electronic format is known as an electronic book, or e-book.  

Books may also refer to works of literature, or a main division of such a work. In library and information science, a book is called a monograph, to distinguish it from serial periodicals such as magazines, journals or newspapers. The body of all written works including books is literature. In novels and sometimes other types of books (for example, biographies), a book may be divided into several large sections, also called books (Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, and so on). An avid reader of books is a bibliophile or colloquially, bookworm.  

A shop where books are bought and sold is a bookshop or bookstore. Books can also be borrowed from libraries. Google has estimated that as of 2010, approximately 130,000,000 unique titles had been published.

History of books 
The history of books follows a suite of technological innovations for books. These improved the quality of text conservation, the access to information, portability, and the cost of production. This history has been linked to political and economical contingencies, the history of ideas, and the history of religion.

Writing is a system of linguistic symbols which permit one to transmit and conserve information. Writing appears to have developed between the 7th millennium BCE and the 4th millennium BCE, first in the form of early mnemonic symbols which became a system of ideograms or pictographs through simplification. The oldest known forms of writing were thus primarily logographic in nature. Later syllabic and alphabetic (or segmental) writing emerged.  

Silk, in China, was also a base for writing. Writing was done with brushes. Many other materials were used as bases: bone, bronze, pottery, shell, etc. In India, for example, dried palm tree leaves were used; in Mesoamerica another type of plant, Amate. Any material which will hold and transmit text is a candidate for use in bookmaking.  

The book is also linked to the desire of humans to create lasting records. Stones could be the most ancient form of writing, but wood would be the first medium to take the guise of a book. The words biblos and liber first meant "fibre inside of a tree". In Chinese, the character that means book is an image of a tablet of bamboo. Wooden tablets (Rongorongo) were also made on Easter Island.

Modern world
Steam-powered printing presses became popular in the early 19th century. These machines could print 1,100 sheets per hour, but workers could only set 2,000 letters per hour. Monotype and linotype typesetting machines were introduced in the late 19th century. They could set more than 6,000 letters per hour and an entire line of type at once.  The centuries after the 15th century were thus spent on improving both the printing press and the conditions for freedom of the press through the gradual relaxation of restrictive censorship laws. See also intellectual property, public domain, copyright. In mid-20th century, European book production had risen to over 200,000 titles per year.

Books current processes
Some books, particularly those with shorter runs (i.e. fewer copies) will be printed on sheet-fed offset presses, but most books are now printed on web presses, which are fed by a continuous roll of paper, and can consequently print more copies in a shorter time. As the production line circulates, a complete "book" is collected together in one stack, next to another, and another.

A web press carries out the folding itself, delivering bundles of signatures (sections) ready to go into the gathering line. Notice that when the book is being printed it is being printed one (or two) signatures at a time, not one complete book at a time. Excess numbers are printed to make up for any spoilage due to "make-readies" or test pages to assure final print quality.

A make-ready is the preparatory work carried out by the pressmen to get the printing press up to the required quality of impression. Included in make-ready is the time taken to mount the plate onto the machine, clean up any mess from the previous job, and get the press up to speed. As soon as the pressman decides that the printing is correct, all the make-ready sheets will be discarded, and the press will start making books. Similar make readies take place in the folding and binding areas, each involving spoilage of paper.

After the signatures are folded and gathered, they move into the bindery. In the middle of last century there were still many trade binders – stand-alone binding companies which did no printing, specializing in binding alone. At that time, because of the dominance of letterpress printing, typesetting and printing took place in one location, and binding in a different factory. When type was all metal, a typical book's worth of type would be bulky, fragile and heavy. The less it was moved in this condition the better: so printing would be carried out in the same location as the typesetting. Printed sheets on the other hand could easily be moved. Now, because of increasing computerization of preparing a book for the printer, the typesetting part of the job has flowed upstream, where it is done either by separately contracting companies working for the publisher, by the publishers themselves, or even by the authors. Mergers in the book manufacturing industry mean that it is now unusual to find a bindery which is not also involved in book printing (and vice versa).

If the book is a hardback its path through the bindery will involve more points of activity than if it is a paperback.

Unsewn binding, is now increasingly common. The signatures of a book can also be held together by "Smyth sewing" using needles, "McCain sewing", using drilled holes often used in schoolbook binding, or "notch binding", where gashes about an inch long are made at intervals through the fold in the spine of each signature. The rest of the binding process is similar in all instances. Sewn and notch bound books can be bound as either hardbacks or paperbacks.

"Making cases" happens off-line and prior to the book's arrival at the binding line. In the most basic case-making, two pieces of cardboard are placed onto a glued piece of cloth with a space between them into which is glued a thinner board cut to the width of the spine of the book. The overlapping edges of the cloth (about 5/8" all round) are folded over the boards, and pressed down to adhere. After case-making the stack of cases will go to the foil stamping area for adding decorations and type.

Digital printing
Recent developments in book manufacturing include the development of digital printing. Book pages are printed, in much the same way as an office copier works, using toner rather than ink. Each book is printed in one pass, not as separate signatures. Digital printing has permitted the manufacture of much smaller quantities than offset, in part because of the absence of make readies and of spoilage. One might think of a web press as printing quantities over 2000, quantities from 250 to 2000 being printed on sheet-fed presses, and digital presses doing quantities below 250. These numbers are of course only approximate and will vary from supplier to supplier, and from book to book depending on its characteristics. Digital printing has opened up the possibility of print-on-demand, where no books are printed until after an order is received from a customer.

The term e-book is a contraction of "electronic book"; it refers to a book-length publication in digital form.An e-book is usually made available through the internet, but also on CD-ROM and other forms. E-Books may be read either via a computer or by means of a portable book display device known as an e-book reader, such as the Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook or the Amazon Kindle. These devices attempt to mimic the experience of reading a print book.

World's largest book
Maha Lawkamarazein or Kuthodaw Inscription, the world's largest book stands upright, set in stone, in the grounds of the Kuthodaw pagoda (kuthodaw, "royal merit") at the foot of Mandalay Hill in Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma). It has 730 leaves and 1460 pages; each page is 107 centimetres (3.51 ft) wide, 153 centimetres (5.02 ft) tall and 13 centimetres (5.1 in) thick. Each stone tablet has its own roof and precious gem on top in a small cave-like structure of Sinhalese relic casket type called kyauksa gu (stone inscription cave in Burmese), and they are arranged around a central golden pagoda.

The pagoda itself was built as part of the traditional foundations of the new royal city which also included a pitakat taik or library for religious scriptures, but King Mindon wanted to leave a great work of merit for posterity meant to last five millennia after the Gautama Buddha who lived around 500 BC. When the British invaded southern Burma in the mid-19th century, Mindon Min was concerned that Buddhist dhamma (teachings) would also be detrimentally affected in the North where he reigned. As well as organizing the Fifth Buddhist council in 1871, he was responsible for the construction in Mandalay of the world's largest book, consisting of 729 large marble tablets with the Tipitaka Pali canon of Theravada Buddhism inscribed on them in gold. One more was added to record how it all came about, making it 730 stone inscriptions in total.

The marble was quarried from Sagyin Hill 32 miles (51 km) north of Mandalay, and transported by river to the city. Work began on 14 October 1860 in a large shed near Mandalay Palace. The text had been meticulously edited by tiers of senior monks and lay officials consulting the Tipitaka (meaning "three baskets", namely Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka and Abhidhamma Pitaka) kept in royal libraries in the form of peisa or palm leaf manuscripts. Scribes carefully copied the text on marble for stonemasons. Each stone has 80 to 100 lines of inscription on each side in round Burmese script, chiselled out and originally filled in with gold ink. It took a scribe three days to copy both the obverse and the reverse sides, and a stonemason could finish up to 16 lines a day. All the stones were completed and opened to the public on 4 May 1868.

World's smallest book
Teeny Ted from Turnip Town (2007), published by Robert Chaplin, is certified by Guinness World Records as the world's smallest reproduction of a printed book.The book was produced in the Nano Imaging Laboratory at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with the assistance of SFU scientists Li Yang and Karen Kavanagh.

The book's size is 0.07 mm x 0.10 mm. The letters are carved into 30 microtablets on a polished piece of single crystalline silicon, using a focused-gallium-ion beam with a minimum diameter of 7 nanometers (this was compared to the head of a pin at 2 mm across). The book has its own ISBN, 978-1-894897-17-4.

The story was written by Malcolm Douglas Chaplin and is "a fable about Teeny Ted’s victory in the turnip contest at the annual county fair."

The book has been published in a limited edition of 100 copies by the laboratory and requires a scanning electron microscope to read the text.

In December 2012, a Library Edition of the book was published with a full title of Teeny Ted from Turnip Town & the Tale of Scale: A Scientific Book of Word Puzzles and an ISBN number 978-1-894897-36-5. On the title page it is referred to as the "Large Print Edition of the World's Smallest Book". The book was published using funds from a successful Kickstarter campaign with contributors' names shown on the dust jacket.