Paper books

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Paper books

Post by meodingu on Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:06 pm

Paper books
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This section may contain inappropriate or misinterpreted citations that do not verify the text. Please help improve this article by checking for inaccuracies. (help, talk, get involved!) (September 2010)

The Arabs revolutionised the book's production and its binding in the medieval Islamic world. They were the first to produce paper books after they learnt papermaking from the Chinese in the 8th century.[17] Particular skills were developed for script writing (Arabic calligraphy), miniatures and bookbinding. The people who worked in making books were called Warraqin or paper professionals. The Arabs made books lighter—sewn with silk and bound with leather covered paste boards, they had a flap that wrapped the book up when not in use. As paper was less reactive to humidity, the heavy boards were not needed. The production of books became a real industry and cities like Marrakech, Morocco, had a street named Kutubiyyin or book sellers which contained more than 100 bookshops in the 12th century; the famous Koutoubia Mosque is named so because of its location in this street. In the words of Don Baker:

The world of Islam has produced some of the most beautiful books ever created. The need to write down the Revelations which the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him, received, fostered the desire to beautify the object which conveyed these words and initiated this ancient craft. Nowhere else, except perhaps in China, has writing been held in such high esteem. Splendid illumination was added with gold and vibrant colours, and the whole book contained and protected by beautiful bookbindings.[18]

The medieval Islamic world also developed a unique method of reproducing reliable copies of a book in large quantities, known as check reading, in contrast to the traditional method of a single scribe producing only a single copy of a single manuscript, as was the case in other societies at the time. In the Islamic check reading method, only "authors could authorize copies, and this was done in public sessions in which the copyist read the copy aloud in the presence of the author, who then certified it as accurate."[19] With this check-reading system, "an author might produce a dozen or more copies from a single reading," and with two or more readings, "more than one hundred copies of a single book could easily be produced."[20]

Modern paper books are printed on papers which are designed specifically for the publication of printed books. Traditionally, book papers are off white or low white papers (easier to read), are opaque to minimise the show through of text from one side of the page to the other and are (usually) made to tighter caliper or thickness specifications, particularly for case bound books. Typically, books papers are light weight papers 60 to 90 g/m² and often specified by their caliper/substance ratios (volume basis). For example, a bulky 80 g/m² paper may have a caliper of 120 micrometres (0.12 mm) which would be Volume 15 (120×10/80) where as a low bulk 80 g/m² may have a caliper of 88 micrometres, giving a volume 11. This volume basis then allows the calculation of a books PPI (printed pages per inch) which is an important factor for the design of book jackets and the binding of the finished book. Different paper qualities are used as book paper depending on type of book: Machine finished coated papers, woodfree uncoated papers, coated fine papers and special fine papers are common paper grades.



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