A guy recently hand-wrote the Bible and it took him 13 years. Imagine how expensive books would be if they took 13 years to make (and if there were no other way to get that information).

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@gideonro Torah Scrolls take a while to write, and the guidelines governing what to do when making a mistake are crazy. They can cost $40000 ish.

@stochastix @gideonro I've seen estimates of ~$500k - $1m equivalent for a typical mediaeval codex. 1/3 to 1/2 a man year, 300 calfskins for velum, plus inks, quills, illumination, binding.

There were about 50,000 books in all of Europe as of 1400 AD. That's not 50k /titles/, but 50k /books/, all told. There were 200 /million/ by 1500, and nearly a billion by 1800. Rural literacy rose from 5% - 90%.

@gideonro I'm going to destroy your productivity for the next week:

(But might increase it afterwards.)

(You're welcome.)

(The History of Information. 2 mya - present. 4,406 entries. 96 themes. San Francisco antiquarian bookseller. An amazingly awesome site.)

@gideonro The Scholastic Method of instruction was a four-part process imposed in part by the lack of availability of books. It consisted of four parts:

* lectio: reading of an authoritative text, and commentary
* meditatio: meditation or reflection
* quaestio: questions (usually submitted in advance)
* dsputationes: resolving controversial quaestiones

This seems a model of web discussions.

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