I am told that posting on a blog is publishing it. Imagine. I love books and enjoy looking at their history. How lucky do you think we are to be in this point in human development?
Books from scratch. Lets go back, say a thousand years – not long in historical terms. We know an awful lot of what happened back then. Ok so we want a book – what do we need?
Vellum was widely used in northern climes as papyrus was used up around the med. Thats scraped and treated sheep skin (lamb was best). So, say two pages per animal. A carpenter was needed to bind large books as vellum tended to harden and curl. You ever seen those lock type of things on books? They were to keep the pages straight – not because the contents were dangerous. So say you need 200 sheep for a book – thats about 100 acres of land to feed them.
You will need a well for the water and a workshop to make the inks – berries, crushed rocks and lampblack was all used.
You will need a flock of geese for the quills for writing. They will take up a few acres, by a small river if possible. Also there has to be sheperds and gooseherds to mind the animals.
Anything else? Trained scribes – about one per page per day, or one per week to two weeks for illuminated pages. They have to be paid and housed as well. That has to come from somewhere.
Easypeasey. Now think about putting together a collection or library?
Guttenburg had some good ideas!