Books Were an Important Part of Life in the Late 18th Century
Books Were an Important Part of Life in the Late 18th Century
Learning is one of important processes in human being life. It is self-evident that human development cannot stand without a proper learning. Since Learning provides unlimited Benefits, people should learn and experience it. The Reading is being reimagined over the time period. I’ll discuss about it later in this section. There are several ways that promotes Learning such as Books, electronic books, Movies, Periodicals such as Magazine, journals or Newspapers and Audio/Visual clips. Nowadays Libraries plays a critical role on keeping the Books alive due to the invention Mass media communications.
I’ll talk further about this later in this section. Let’s take a closer look about Books. The book is one of the valuable sources of knowledge that provided numerous benefits, such benefits are it takes us into different worlds and cultures and it helps to learn other languages as well. So, we can tell that a book can be a truthful friend which helps to learn how to behave in practical life. Books cover different genres such as Comedy, Drama, Romance, Adventure, fiction etc. Director General of UNESCO addressed 1972 as the “International Book Year” and taking “Booking for all” as their Motto.
UNESCO organizes a yearly event called “World Book day or International Day of the book” on 23th April every year worldwide to promote Reading, Publishing and Copyright. So we can understand How Important it is Reading in a life of Mankind. It was first celebrated on 23th April 1995. Writing believed to be developed between the 7th millennium BC and 4th millennium BC in china. Ancient people used to write using stones but wood was the first medium to write in the actual form of Book. From time to Time, the new technology inventions played vital part in the World.
The Cambridge University Press was founded in 1534 and the first book was printed in 1583. Also the first press was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts one of the North American British colonies in the year of Year 1639. Then first North American Public library was founded in Boston in the year of 1653. Eighteenth Century Americans were mainly interested in reading books about practical arts, religious and the politics as well. American does have a long tradition on reading habits since long back. Thus they are proved to be improved in vocal, public expressions both towards and against throughout reading skills.
Novels are the entertaining seldom read by Americans in the 18th century. The nation’s first novel was published in the late 18th century. The first two novels to be published were Digges’ “Adventure of Alonso” and Brown’s “The power of Sympathy”. Women were also contributed to the success of Novels, Such writers were Susuana Rowson for her novel “Charlotte: A tale of truth”. This navel was re-issued under the title of Charlotte Temple, which sold more than million and half copies. The growth of novel reading grew rapidly towards the end of the year 1750.
The main reason for the growth of novel readers was the rapid growth of the source of book materials such as book seller, public library and lending library. An average person was able to obtain their reading materials from booksellers, public libraries as well through lending libraries which were a cheaper option since they were able to rent the books for a small fee. Due to the vast number of readers between the year 1773 and 1798 the number of book trading companies as well as the number of public libraries grew rapidly at faster rate than the increasing population.
While the population doubled in the period of 1790’s, the numbers of the circulating libraries were tripled. So in the late 18th century, the circulation libraries played a huge influence placing reading interest among the American public. Social libraries were able to expand their firms by joining the book selling companies and they were able to purchase and loan the books for a lower rate. By the year of 1790, books were the main source of entertainment, information and literature for an average person.
According to the catalogues of the sellers, the percentage of fiction readers increased by nine percent between 1754 to 1765 and increased to thirteen percent between 1791 to 1800. Circulating Library catalogues contained fifty-eight percent fiction by the year of 1800 which was higher compared (twenty-eight percent) to the early 18th century. Though the books were little expensive at that period, the people were able to join in the circulating libraries for lower rate which is another proof that people were encouraged to read during this century.
During the late 18th century, the book sellers showed interest requesting novels from their suppliers. As an example Robert Ben Winans (1975) states that “In 1801, a bookseller in North Carolina wrote to his supplier requesting that “Mr. Carey will be so obliging as to send as many of the Novels as he procure; it will be mutually our interest to keep a good collection, as the good folks her love light reading”. This letter accompanied an order called a -typical order of the period about 1800, which listed sixty-three books every one of them a novel”. (“The Growth of a Novel-Reading Public in Late-Eighteenth-Century America. Early American Literature. Vol. 9. No. 3 (Winter, 1975): 267-275. Print). This is a proof that tells the novels were read by rapidly growing people in the late 18th century. This period is described as Novel reading age. I strongly believe that books today have been replaced by other forms of mass communication such as Media, newspaper and magazine, Web. Though there were so many significant political, economic developments redesigned the new world, the dramatic and unprecedented centralization of the countries and their expansion, regulations and professionalization of the state forces are still appreciable.
Every time a new invention strikes in mass communications, obviously the books had to compete with that invention. The first American newspaper called “Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestick” published in early 18th century. During the early 18th century, the weekly Newspapers acted as the means of carrying of intercolonial news and also the newspapers carried war news at that period . So people were interested in reading newspapers than Books at that period. Then the industrial era started from the nineteenth century initially with the telegraph applications.
The first African-American newspaper was published in 1827 called the Freedom’s Journal. Also this has been followed by the inventions such as magazines, telegraph, printers, phonograph, postal discounted rates, photographic films and radio were in particular. So the century that belongs to the industrial revolution start for the mass media that affected the books and readers. Since the radio, television and movie inventions in the early 1900s, the information had started passing through voice than text form. People started feeling that listening to audio is more comfortable than reading.
In 1980, first online newspaper was published on web . From time moves on, the physical form of book transformed in intangible form of text due the new inventions in this world. During the late 1980s, Information has transformed to digitalized manner and the revolution of Computer started striking the world. People believed that physically storing information was not safe, so they started storing information in digital code. In 1985, Voyagar Company stored books in CD-ROM which was the first step to the era of eBook. From then onwards, the learning has come to digital manner.
Then the biggest bang to the book sales was the invention of the World Wide Web in the year of 1991. Then the first online blog was published in the year of 1997. Due to high volume of readers, authors showed an interest in writing online blogs. Convergence of Media (Video and Audio) introduced in the later 1990s. For example:-We can see presidential debates live on YouTube. So the information can be stored as Video or audio forms as well than the text form. Google has announced the Google Library Project which is digitalization of books in 2005.
Nowadays libraries are playing an important role in preserving the books for the next generation. It is self-evident that physically books can’t long last because of the material and size. It is good in a way that if we store information in digital code it can long last than physically storing in a book. This generation people show interest in reading/learning, just the sales of the eBooks readers, pdf readers are the proofs. If we look into Amazon. com, we can see tons of EBooks and they also sell books as well.
If we want, we can download the eBook instantly or else we have to wait till they ship it. Though the form of text (book) has changed due to new inventions, but the rate of readers has increased in the world. Earlier we had only text form but now we do have text, audio and video form as well. Nowadays people look for a better ways. I would say storing an eBook is far more convenient than carrying a book (physical book). Though the new innovation impacted the sales of the books (physical form), it’s good for the next generation to preserve the valuable information.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 29 November 2016
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