Books in cases
When writing systems were invented/created in ancient civilizations, nearly everything that could be written upon—stone, clay, tree bark, metal sheets—was used for writing.
The study of such inscriptions forms a major part of history. The study of inscriptions is known as epigraphy. Alphabetic writing emerged in Egypt about 5,000 years ago. The Ancient Egyptians would often write on papyrus, a plant grown along the Nile River. At first the words were not separated from each other (scriptural continua) and there was no punctuation. Texts were written from right to left, left to right, and even so that alternate lines read in opposite directions. The technical term for this type of writing is 'boustrophedon,' which means literally 'ox-turning' for the way a farmer drives an ox to plough his fields.In the 5th century, Isidore of Seville explained the then-current relation between codex, book and scroll in his Etymologiae (VI.13): "A codex is composed of many books; a book is of one scroll. It is called codex by way of metaphor from the trunks (codex) of trees or vines, as if it were a wooden stock, because it contains in itself a multitude of books, as it were of branches." Modern usage differs. A codex (in modern usage) is the first information repository that modern people would recognize as a "book": leaves of uniform size bound in some manner along one edge, and typically held between two covers made of some more robust material. The first written mention of the codex as a form of book is from Martial, in his Apopho
eta CLXXXIV at the end of the century, where he praises its compactness. However, the codex never gained much popularity in the pagan Hellenistic world, and only within the Christian community did it gain widespread use. This change happened gradually during the 3rd and 4th centuries, and the reasons for adopting the codex form of the book are several: the format is more economical, as both sides of the writing material can be used; and it is portable, searchable, and easy to conceal. The Christian authors may also have wanted to distinguish their writings from the pagan texts written on scrolls. At first, books were copied mostly in monasteries, one at a time. With the rise of universities in the 13th century, the Manuscript culture of the time led to an increase in the demand for books, and a new system for copying books appeared. The books were divided into unbound leaves (pecia), which were lent out to different copyists, so the speed of book production was considerably increased. The system was maintained by secular stationers guilds, which produced both religious and non-religious material. Judaism has kept the art of the scribe alive up to the present. According to Jewish tradition, the Torah scroll placed in a synagogue must be written by hand on parchment, and a printed book would not do, though the congregation may use printed prayer books, and printed copies of the Scriptures are used for study outside the synagogue. A sofer (scribe) is a highly respected member of any observant Jewish community.