October 8, 2023 in 

Block books were famous throughout Europe during the 15th century as one of the first forms of book printing with movable type presses; they were popular during this period as they produced text and illustrations cut onto wooden blocks covered in parchment or paper for printing purposes. After being inked onto sheets of paper, they are assembled on frames on presses arranged to ink before being transferred onto sheets of paper sheets for distribution to readers.

Block books were much cheaper to produce than manuscripts. They were frequently employed for educational and religious dissemination, particularly in areas with lower literacy levels. Biblia Pauperum (The Poor Man’s Bible) and Ars Moriendi (The Art of Dying) are most well-known.

Block books were widely popular until printing with metal type in the mid-15th century became widespread, rendering them less durable due to their simple construction, making them susceptible to wear and tear. Nowadays, collectors prize these precious objects, which often fetch higher auction prices.

Block books offer many advantages over printed works with movable type, including being significantly cheaper to produce as each page only needs to be cut once and can then be reused again and again. They were also easier to transport than their counterparts as they could easily be rolled up for transporting purposes.

Block books played an essential part in the history of books and publishing. As one of the first types of books to use movable printing technology for their production, block books opened the way to mass book publishing operations. They significantly contributed to spreading literacy and knowledge throughout society.

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