One of life's most frequently encountered technologies is perhaps the one most often taken for granted: the printed book. Daily contact with books makes these everyday objects so familiar that one is apt to forget that the invention of the book has more profoundly altered civilization than almost any other invention. This volume provides a broad overview of the printed book's development across many centuries, cultures, and in a variety of fields. It highlights the forerunners and offshoots of books that have come from and been dispersed to all corners of the globe. The creation of a single book requires diverse skills and techniques that have taken centuries to develop. This addition to the Greenwood Technographies series will give readers of all ages a greater appreciation for this familiar phenomenon that is part of everyone's life. The Book: The Life Story of a Technology provides a concise overview of many of the most compelling and important stories of the history of book printing: The history of books, from papyrus scrolls to e-books The importance of Gutenberg and his historical context BL The development of book materials, bindings, typefaces, and printing methods BL The book's social and cultural influences, from scientific research and religious beliefs to the structure of government Modern technological advances in book printing technology, from linotype and lithography to computer composition and electronic publishing. The volume includes a glossary of terms, a timeline of important events, and a selected bibliography of useful resources for further information.