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History of Books


  1. A material similar to thick paper which was used as an ancient writing surface was made from the pith of which plant?
  2. After setting up his workshop in the grounds of Westminster Abbey, which book's popularity led England's William Caxton in 1476 to choose it to be the first major book printed in Britain?
  3. In which country was paper invented around the 1st century?
  4. What name is given to the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible?

  5. Printed in Germany in 1455, what was the first printed version of the Bible called?
  6. What term is often used for ancient manuscript books with handwritten contents?
  7. Granted patent by King Henry VIII in 1534, can you name the oldest university press in the world?
  8. Published on 15 April 1755, "A Dictionary of the English Language" was compiled by which English writer?
  9. The Statute of Anne, enacted in 1710 in England and Scotland provided the first legislation to do what?
  10. What was first published as three volumes between 1768 and 1771 in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh?
  11. What term refers to a parchment made from calf skin?
  12. Donations from which industrialist helped the growth of a public library system in both the United States and United Kingdom in the late 19th century?
  13. Who wrote The Wealth of Nations published in 1776, which is largely viewed as the foundational text for classical economics?
  14. Written by Harriett Beecher Stowe in 1851, which book has been credited for changing the views of slavery in the north of the United States?
  15. In which book in 1859 did Charles Darwin lay out the foundation for the theory of evolution?
  16. In one of the most important pieces of literature in England's history, Samuel Pepys diary gives descriptive information about the coronation of which king?
  17. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens raised the popularity of Christmas, which wasn't the major holiday we know it as today. In which decade was it written?
  18. Published in 1888, who wrote The Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx?
  19. Published in 1949, which book's ideas have entered mainstream culture in a way achieved by very few books?
  20. What was the name of the first e-reader, released on November 19, 2007, in the United States?


  1. The papyrus plant
  2. The Canterbury Tales (by Geoffrey Chaucer)
  3. China
  4. Torah
  5. The Gutenberg Bible
  6. Codex
  7. Cambridge University Press
  8. Samuel Johnson
  9. Protect copyrights (but not authors' rights)
  10. Encyclopaedia Britannica
  11. Vellum
  12. Andrew Carnegie
  13. Adam Smith
  14. Uncle Tom's Cabin
  15. On the Origin of Species
  16. King Charles II (the diary also outlined how people lived in mid-17th century England)
  17. 1840s (1843)
  18. Friedrich Engels
  19. Nineteen Eighty-four, also published as 1984 (by George Orwell)
  20. Amazon Kindle