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Books The Birth of the Mass Media
The Development of the Book and Mass Communication Books allowed: • the spread of ideas • the standardization of language and spelling • the creation of mass culture Also helped bring about major social changes.
Early Books and Writing: • Writing is thought to have originated around 3500 B.C. in the Middle East, in either Egypt or Mesopotamia. • Reading and writing allowed information to be stored and preserved. • Reading and writing were elite skills held by people called scribes.
Pictograph—earliest form of writing was the which consisted of pictures of objects painted on rock walls. • Ideograph—an abstract symbol that stands for an object or an idea: • Are more formalized than a pictograph. • One symbol stands for each object or idea. • Languages such as Chinese, Korean, and Japanese still make use of ideographs. • Street signs still make use of.
Phonography—a system of writing in which symbols stand for spoken sounds rather than for objects or ideas; developed around 2000 B.C. • Alphabets—letters representing individual sounds; were developed between 1700 B.C. and 1500 B.C.
The Development of Paper • Papyrus—a primitive form of paper made from the papyrus reed: • developed by the Egyptians around 3100 • tended to crumble or be eaten by bugs • Parchment—made from the skin of goats or sheep: • replaced papyrus because it was more durable • Paper—made from cotton rags or wood: • invented by the Chinese sometime between 240 and 105 B.C. • spread throughout Europe during the 1300s, replaced parchment in the 1500s.
Books before the Era of Printing: • Most books in Europe were religious texts hand-copied by monks, produced in the scriptoria, or copying rooms of monasteries. • Rise of literacy in the thirteenth century increased demand for books. • Demand for books greatly exceeded production.
Books before the Era of Printing (cont.): • Books were still hand-copied one at a time: • Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales • By the fourteenth century books were becoming relatively common. • Illuminated manuscripts—religious texts embellished with pictures and elaborate calligraphy: • aided in the transmission of the message to nonliterate audiences
The Development of the Printing Press • Printing was invented in China toward the end of the second century: • Images were carved into blocks of wood. • Woodcuts could not be reproduced rapidly. • Between 1050 and 1200 both the Chinese and the Koreans developed the idea of movable type: • With thousands of separate ideographs, printing was not practical.
Johannes Gutenberg: • first European to develop movable type • developed the first practical printing press by modifying a winepress • Typemold—enabled printers to make multiple, identical copies of a single letter. • Font—originally referred to a particular size and style of type: • today it refers to specific typefaces • mass-produced type became available by 1600s
Books and Standardized Language • William Caxton (1422–1491) helped establish the rules for the English language: • worked to standardize word usage, grammar, punctuation, and spelling • published books in English rather than in Latin • Martin Luther: • translated the New Testament of the Bible into German in 1522
Books in the New World: • First printing press in the New World was set up by the Spanish in Mexico City in 1539. • Printing in North America began in 1640—Whole Booke of Psalmes. • Benjamin Franklin (1731) established one of the colonies’ early circulating (or subscription) libraries in Philadelphia.
Benjamin Franklin’s lending library: • Patrons had to pay 40 shillings initially, then 10 shillings a year to continue borrowing volumes. • Franklin’s patrons were businessmen and tradesmen. • Nonreligious books that sold well included books on agriculture and animal husbandry, science, surveying, and the military. • Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, published in 1740, was the first English novel.
The Development of Large-Scale, Mass-Produced Books • Andrew Carnegie financed the construction of nearly 1,700 public libraries from 1900 to 1917. • Serial novels—published in installments, popular in the 1830s and 1840s: • less expensive than a whole book • steady flow of income for publishers • Dime novels—first paperbacks, heroic action stories that celebrated democratic ideals: • popular in the Civil War era, morale boosters
The steam-powered rotary press, invented in 1814, could print as many as 16,000 sections per day. • In 1885, the Mergenthaler Linotype typesetting machine was introduced: • Allowed a compositor to type at a keyboard rather than pick each letter out by hand, thus further speeding up the printing process.
Buying and Selling Books • In 2005, Amazon.com—3.7 million titles available: • giant superstores carry 50,000 to 150,000 titles. • Publishers—companies that buy manuscripts from authors and turn them into books: • 20 companies publish nearly 80% of all books today • regional publishers are buying up small, independent publishing houses • international conglomerates buying up major national publishing companies
The top five publishers in the world are: • McGraw-Hill • Random House • Harcourt Education • Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck • Scholastic
University and small presses—publish books that serve a limited geographic or subject area or an academic discipline • Vanity presses—print books with the author paying all the costs of publication and distribution: • very little return for authors • The Government Printing Office—One of the nation’s biggest publishers: • most of its titles are government reports (9/11 Commission Report was a best-seller) • Authors: • responsible for original manuscript, and all changes leading up to the proof—the print-ready copy of the book
Booksellers: • The Ingram Book Group—nation’s largest book wholesaler: • distributes 175 million books and audiobooks to more than 30,000 retail outlets • Barnes & Noble’s revenues total more than $5 billion a year: • in the United States, operates under the Barnes & Noble and B. Dalton names, along with Barnesandnoble.com • controls about 17 % of the retail book business in the United States
The Textbook Business: • Barnes & Noble did more than $1.5 billion in business in 2005 through its more than 500 campus bookstores. • Stores give the schools they’re associated with a cut of the sales. • With used textbooks, neither the publisher nor the author get a cut of the sales, only the bookstore.
Books and Culture • Great Books versus Popular Books: • The 1850s saw the publication of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, and Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. • All were outsold by domestic novels—books written by and for women that told of women who overcame tremendous hardships and ended up in prosperous middle-class homes.
54.9% of all popular paperback fiction sold in America are categorized as romances. • Classics continue to sell: • Catcher in the Rye, sells about 250,000 copies a year. • The Lord of the Rings, initially published in England in 1954, has now sold more than 100 million copies (11 million in 2002 alone).
Harry Potter Breaks the New York Times Best-Seller List: • February 2000—first three Harry Potter books were all on the hardback fiction list • Publishers’ complained—books aimed at children were overshadowing authors writing for an adult audience • New York Times created a separate best-seller list for children’s books: • eventually created three new children’s lists • Harry Potter had positive effects on the sales of similar books and increased the number of actively reading children.
Books and Censorship • Book Banning: • In the U.S. most book censorship efforts are local in scope. • Judy Blume: • ten books on the Publishers Weekly’s list of the top 200 children’s paperbacks of all times • controversial topics include adolescence • message that banning sends to young people upsets Blume
Salman Rushdie: • released the TheSatanic Verses in 1988 • Satanic Verses banned in India in the fall of 1988; caused rioting in Pakistan in 1989 • received a death sentence, or fatwa, from Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini for the book’s blasphemous content • forced into hiding by fatwa • was never attacked, but several people connected to Rushdie and the book were killed or injured
The Future of Books • Books and the Long Tail: • Amazon.com began operations in July 1995. • The Web was the only practical way to offer the variety that the company sought. • The Amazon site tracks customers’ interests through using cookies. • Readers likely to use the Internet and have computer access. • Finding books online can be easier than finding them in a bookstore.
Electronic Publishing and Printing-on-Demand • Electronic distribution has also become a popular format: • allows customers to download titles • Electronic Textbooks: • have an advantage over print editions, since textbooks tend to be updated frequently • provides for flexibility, still have some challenges • Printing-on-Demand: • physical book isn’t printed until it’s ordered • requires banks of large-capacity printers