FILM 240 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Book Industry Study Group, Pulp Magazine, Offset Printing

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Published on 21 Apr 2013
Queen's University
Film and Media
FILM 240
Film 240- Week 6 Readings
Parchment (treated animal skin) replaced papyrus (made from plant reeds) in Europe
Codex- type of book made of sheet of parchment and sewn together along the edge, then
bound with thin pieces of wood and covered with leather
Manuscript culture (during the Middle Age 400-1500), a period which books were painstakingly
lettered, decorated and bound by hand
o Marks the entrepreneurial stage of evolution of books
o During this time, priests and monks advanced the art of bookmaking
o Known as scribes, the transcribed even the Bible.
o Many books from the Middle Ages were illuminated manuscripts
These books featured decorative, colorful designs and illustrations on each
page, often made for churches or wealth clients
Covers were made from leather, with trimmings of gold or silver
Because copying everything by hand was painstakingly hard and annoying, the Chines developed
a form of printer, Block printing (technique in which sheets of paper were applied to blocks of
inked wood with raised surfaces depicting hand-carved letters and illustrations- as early as 3rd
o Then further development of printing press was designed by Germans
Things were printed on vellum (fine calfskin-based parchment)
Technology of printing allowed people to gain independence from leaders
Birth of publishing in the united states
o By early 1800s, demands for books was growing
o Paperback books with cheaper paper covers helped to make books more accessible to
o Dime novels (because they sold for 5 or 10 cents) they were cheap paperback novels.
o Pulp fiction- reference to the cheap, machine-made pulp paper they were printed on
That’s what most popular paperback and dime novels were made of.
o In 1880s, they introduced linotype machines (enabled printers to save time by setting
type mechanically using a typewriter-style keyboard, while introduction of steam-
powered and high speed rotary presses permitted the production of more books at
lower costs)
o In early 1990s, development of offset lithography allowed books to be printed from
photographic plates rather than from metal casts, greatly reducing cost of colour and
illustrations and accelerating book production.
1910 marked peak year in number of new titles produced
o But book publishing went down from 1910 to 1950s due to two wars and great
Radio and magazines fared better during these times
Publishers and trade organizations
o Like the AAP (association of American publishers), BISG (book industry study group) and
ABA (American bookseller association)
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