Celebrate National Book Lover’s Day

Today is a wonderful day: it’s National Book Lovers Day in the U.S., and of course that extends to cookbooks as well. People have been sharing photos of their bookshelves, stacks of their favorite books, and (of course) of their pets “reading”. A few fun facts about the history of books is in order (from the National Dy Calendar of Days website linked above):

  • The very first books used parchment or vellum (calf skin) for the book pages.
  • The book covers were made of wood and often covered with leather.
  • The books were fitted with clasps or straps.
  • Public libraries appeared in the Middle Ages.
  • Public libraries often chained the books to a shelf or a desk to prevent theft.

open books

We’ve come a long way from the hand-copied tomes that monks would labor over for months on end. Owning a book prior to the invention of the printing press was a rarity reserved for the wealthy and powerful. Along with the concept of libraries, mass production of books was a huge advancement, allowing almost everyone to have their own books to read.

For some of us, every day is Book Lovers Day, and we will celebrate as we always do, by cracking open a book. The New York Public Library has a few other ways you can celebrate as well. Whether it’s with a fresh volume exuding that intoxicating “new book” smell or a well-loved tome with creases in the spine, there are few activities more rewarding than reading a book. I’m going to be diving into one of my recent acquisitions, Mouneh: Preserving Foods for the Lebanese Pantry (don’t forget to enter our giveaway for your chance to win a copy). How will you celebrate? 

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