book is a medium for recording
information in the form of
images, typically composed of many
pages (made of
bound together and protected by a
cover. The technical term for this physical arrangement is
codex (plural, codices). In the history of hand-held physical supports for extended written compositions or records, the codex replaces its predecessor, the
scroll. A single sheet in a codex is a
leaf and each side of a leaf is a
As an intellectual object, a book is prototypically a composition of such great length that it takes a considerable investment of time to compose and still considered as an investment of time to read. In a restricted sense, a book is a self-sufficient section or part of a longer composition, a usage that reflects the fact that, in antiquity, long works had to be written on several scrolls and each scroll had to be identified by the book it contained. Each part of
Physics is called a book. In an unrestricted sense, a book is the compositional whole of which such sections, whether called books or chapters or parts, are parts.
The intellectual content in a physical book need not be a composition, nor even be called a book. Books can consist only of drawings, engravings or photographs, crossword puzzles or cut-out dolls. In a physical book, the pages can be left blank or can feature an abstract set of lines to support entries, such as in an account book, an appointment book, an autograph book, a notebook, a diary or a sketchbook. Some physical books are made with pages thick and sturdy enough to support other physical objects, like a scrapbook or photograph album. Books may be distributed in electronic form as
ebooks and other formats.
Although in ordinary academic parlance a
monograph is understood to be a specialist academic work, rather than a reference work on a scholarly subject, in
library and information science monograph denotes more broadly any non-serial publication complete in one
volume (book) or a finite number of volumes (even a novel like Proust's seven-volume
In Search of Lost Time), in contrast to serial publications like a
newspaper. An avid reader or collector of books is a
bibliophile or colloquially, "bookworm". A place where
books are traded is a
bookshop or bookstore. Books are also sold elsewhere and can be borrowed from
Google has estimated that by 2010, approximately 130,000,000 titles had been published. In some wealthier nations, the sale of printed books has decreased because of the increased usage of ebooks. (
bibliography of George Orwell includes journalism, essays, novels and non-fiction books written by the British writer Eric Blair (1903–1950), either under his own name or, more usually, under his pen name
George Orwell. Orwell was a prolific writer on topics related to contemporary English society and literary criticism, who has been declared "perhaps the 20th century's best chronicler of English culture." His non-fiction cultural and political criticism constitutes the majority of his work, but Orwell also wrote in several genres of fictional literature.
Orwell is best remembered for his political commentary as a left-wing anti-totalitarian. As he explained in the essay "
Why I Write" (1946), "Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it." To that end, Orwell used his fiction as well as his journalism to defend his political convictions. He first achieved widespread acclaim with his fictional
Animal Farm and cemented his place in history with the publication of
Nineteen Eighty-Four shortly before his death. While fiction accounts for a small fraction of his total output, these two novels are his best-selling works, having sold almost fifty million copies in sixty-two languages by 2007—more than any other pair of books by a twentieth-century author.
Credit: Anne de Felbrigge
- For a topical guide of this subject, see
Outline of books
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Olaudah Equiano (/əˈlaʊda/) (c. 1745 – 31 March 1797), known for most of his life as Gustavus Vassa (), was a writer and abolitionist from, according to his memoir, the
Eboe (Igbo) region of the
Kingdom of Benin (today southern
Enslaved as a child in Africa, he was taken to the Caribbean and sold as a slave to a
Royal Navy officer. He was sold twice more but purchased his freedom in 1766.
freedman in London, Equiano supported the British abolitionist movement. He was part of the
Sons of Africa, an abolitionist group composed of
Africans living in Britain, and he was active among leaders of the anti-slave trade movement in the 1780s. He published his autobiography,
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789), which depicted the horrors of slavery. It went through nine editions in his lifetime and helped gain passage of the British
Slave Trade Act 1807, which abolished the slave trade. Equiano married an English woman named Susannah Cullen in 1792 and they had two daughters. He died in 1797 in
||A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.
Did you know...
Celsus Library was built in 135 A.D. and could house around 12,000 scrolls?(Pictured)
- ...that following the advice of minister
Li Si, Emperor
Qin Shi Huang ordered the burning of all philosophy books and history books from states other than
Qin — beginning in 213 BC?
- ...that according to the
Torah in the fourth year of the reign of
King Jehoiakim of Judah the prophet
Jeremiah dictated the words of the Lord to Baruch, who wrote them in ink upon a roll of a book?
The following are images from various book-related articles on Wikipedia.
Sammelband of three alchemical treatises, bound in Strasbourg by Samuel Emmel c. 1568, showing metal clasps and leather covering of boards (from
Cloth book cover with attached paper panel, mimicking half leather binding (from
Sophie Calle books with different titling orientations: ascending (left), descending (middle) and upright (right) (from
Book conservators at the State Library of New South Wales, 1943 (from
Blue Quran manuscript, ca. 9th or 10th century CE (from
History of books)
Page from the
Jean Miélot writing his compilation of the Miracles of Our Lady, one of his many popular works. (from
History of books)
An author portrait of
Rebacking saving original spine, showing one volume finished and one untouched (from
spine of the book is an important aspect in book design, especially in the cover design. When the books are stacked up or stored in a shelf, the details on the spine is the only visible surface that contains the information about the book. In a book store, it is often the details on the spine that attract the attention first. (from
Hardbound book with half leather binding (spine and corners) and marbled boards (from