The Ever Expanding World of Books
For most of the history books have been treasured possessions. Even for our modern times books have been sought after, prized possessions as valuable as actual gold or real estate. Of course we now consider a book to be a digital download, a book is no longer just paper and ink on paper, it is recorded information in the shape of words or images, usually bound together and sometimes protected by a protective cover. The technical term for this actual physical arrangement is codex. In the modern age, books are available in CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray formats and in electronic and printed forms.
One of the earliest methods of preserving information was the addition of a wax coating to a papyrus scroll or book. Over time, other methods were devised to protect these ancient volumes, and new chemicals and processes were developed to preserve leather, parchment, and wood. When first used, the water in which the papyrus was preserved was boiled in water to remove any organic material. Later, alcohol was added to the water, and finally vinegar was used, which is still the standard method today. Today most printed books are protected by digital imaging techniques that utilize water-based inks that are virtually impossible to reproduce using older methods.
In our own day and age it has become commonplace to store entire libraries of information on electronic formats, including hundreds of thousands of digital books, magazines, and newspapers. These digital files can be retrieved, searched, and even read on computers or mobile devices. Because of this the need to store physical books has virtually disappeared. However, in spite of this there is still a market for physical books, and the number of people who still love and enjoy reading books is still quite large.