Many, many years ago a town crier ran through the streets
and shouted out all the news. But now we live in the Atomic
Age. Too many things happen too quickly for us to learn
about them in the old-fashioned way. That is why we have to
read more and more in order to find out what is happening
in the world. Reading is rarely a waste of time.
Have you ever thought about the kind of books people
used long ago? It is only in the last 500 years that books have
been printed on paper. Before that time the only way of making
books was to write them out by hand. No one knows when
writing first began, but we have found drawings on the walls
of caves and scratchings on bones which are at least 25,000
The invention of paper played a very important part in the
development of books.
In the llth century the art of papermaking reached Europe
but no trace of printing was found in Europe until 1423. It
is known that Johann Gutenberg secretly tried out ways of
printing in Strasbourg, Germany, in 1440.
The knowledge of the methods of printing spread so quickly
over the Continent of Europe that by the year 1487 nearly
every country had started printing books.
Later people began to learn how to make paper more quickly
and cheaply and of better quality.
As a result of this, books became much lighter and smaller.
The first person to print books in the English language
was William Caxton, in Russia — Ivan Fedorov.
The first book printed in the Russian language appeared
in Moscow on the first of March, 1564. Up to that time there
were only handwritten books in Russia. The house built for
printing books was not far from the Kremlin. At that time it
was one of the best buildings in the Russian capital.
Ivan Fedorov and his assistants were the first to use Russian
By the 16th century books looked very much as they do
today and since then very little change has been made in their
1. Why do we have to read more and more?
2. What was the only way of making books 500 yeas
3. What played a very important part in the development
4. When did the art of papermaking reach Europe?
5. What did people begin to learn later?
6. Wrho was the first to print in the Russian language?