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   Many, many years ago a town cryer ran through the streets and shouted out all the news. But now we live in the Atomic Age. Too many things happen too quickly for us to learn about them in the old-fashioned way. That is why we have to read more and more in order td find out what is happening in the world. Reading is rarely a waste of time.
   Have you ever thought about the kind of books people used long ago? It is only in the last 500 years that books have been printed on paper. Before that time the only way of making books was to write them out by hand. No one knows when writing first began, but we have found drawings on the walls of caves and scratchings on bones which are at least 25,000 years old.
   The invention of paper played a very important part in the development of books.
   In the 11th century the art of paper making reached Europe but no trace of printing was found in Europe until 1423. It is known that Johann Gutenberg secretly tried out ways of printing in Strasbourg, Germany, in 1440.
   The knowledge of the methods of printing spread so quickly over the Continent of Europe that by the year 1487 nearly every country had started printing books.
   Later people began to learn how to make paper more quickly and cheaply and of better quality.
   As a result of this, books became much lighter and smaller.
   The first person to print books in the English language was William Caxton, in Russia — Ivan Fedorov.
   The first book printed in the Russian language appeared in Moscow on the first of March, 1564. Up to that time there were only handwritten books in Russia. The house built for printing books was not far from the Kremlin. At that time it was one of the best buildings in the Russian capital.
   Ivan Fedorov and his assistants were the first to use Russian letters.
   By the 16th century books looked very much as they do today and since then very little change has been made in their appearance.


   Много-много лет назад по улицам бегал городской глашатай и выкрикивал новости. Но сейчас мы живем в атомном веке. Многие события происходят слишком быстро, чтобы мы узнавали о них устаревшими способами. Вот почему нам приходится больше и больше читать, чтобы узнавать о том, что происходит в мире. Чтение редко бывает напрасной тратой времени.
   Вы когда-нибудь думали о том, какие книги люди читали много лет назад? Книги печатаются на бумаге только последние 500 лет. До этого времени единственным способом сделать книгу было написать ее вручную. Никто не знает, когда впервые появилась письменность, но найдены рисунки на стенах пещер и на костях, которым, по крайней мере, 25 000 лет.
   Изобретение бумаги сыграло очень важную роль в развитии книги.
   В XI веке искусство делать бумагу пришло в Европу, но не обнаружено никаких следов книгопечатания в Европе до 1423 г. Известно, что Иоганн Гутенберг втайне пытался печатать в Страсбурге (Германия) в 1440 г.
   Знание способов печатания так быстро распространялось по Европе, что к 1487 г. книги начали печатать почти в каждой стране.
   Позже люди узнали, как делать бумагу быстрее, дешевле и лучшего качества.
   Результатом этого было то, что книги стали намного легче и меньше.
   Первым человеком, который напечатал книгу на английском языке, был Уильям Кэкстон, в России — Иван Федоров.
   Первая книга, напечатанная на русском языке, появилась в Москве 1 марта 1564 г. До этого в России были только рукописные книги. Дом, построенный для печатания книг, был недалеко от Кремля. В то время это было одно из лучших зданий в русской столице.
   Иван Федоров и его помощники первыми использовали русский алфавит.
   К XVI веку книги стали очень похожи на современные, и с тех пор они мало изменились внешне.

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