What makes a book a book? Is it just anything that stores and communicates information? Or does it have to do with paper, binding, font, ink, its weight in your hands, the smell of the pages? To answer these questions, Julie Dreyfuss goes back to the start of the book as we know it to show how these elements came together to make something more than the sum of their parts.

Enjoy this history lesson from TED Ed: The evolution of the book.

Next, watch more videos about books and printing, including The art of making a book, Printing with a 2000lb cast-iron Kluge Letterpress machine, and Upside Down, Left To Right: A Letterpress Film.

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