Long before TV, computers, and social media constantly filled our days, books were the predominant form of entertainment.
These books weren't the hard plastic e-readers or mass produced paperbacks we know today. Handcrafting leather bound books was a painstaking process, and the end result was more than a mere book; it was a work of art in itself.
After the story was authored, printers would stamps of letters individually onto racks.* These would then have to be manually inked and stamped onto large sheets of paper that were then folded, cut, and then sewn together.
The book was completed by gluing it into a leather casing, creating a smooth, perfect cover. Simple, decorative touches are all that is needed to turn a pile of modest supplies into an exquisite tome, ready to be read and cherished for generations to come.
Though it sounds like a simple process, the amount of hard work and attention to detail required is fairly astounding. With such a limiting production process, it's no wonder that books were considered prized possessions and status symbols.
If you’ve ever heard someone say how obsessed they are with leather books but didn’t really understand why, allow this video to change your mind:
*Fun fact: This is where the expression, "mind your p's and q's" comes from. Being stamps, the letters were mirror-images, and it became incredibly easy to mix up the letters p and q. Thus, the expression reminds us to be detail-oriented and pay attention to the task at hand.
[Image credit: Screenshot via YouTube]
[H/T: Tenth + Fourth]