Men Printing Books

How Books Are Made Today

March 25, 2022

Have you ever wondered how books are made today? From how the paper gets made to how books get assembled, we’ll give you step-by-step details on how the treasured books on your shelves come to be. Read on and share this info with your bookworm friends so they, too, can appreciate the intricacy of book production!


How Are Books Made?

Books have been around for thousands of years, but how books are made today is considerably quicker (and cleaner) than it was in the past. Before the invention of the printing press, making a book was a very time-consuming process, and it would often take an entire day to produce only a few pages. Nowadays, many machines are a part of the printing process, allowing us to print books faster and in larger volumes than ever before. Thanks to these modern technologies, we can meet the demand for printed books from literature lovers worldwide. Keep reading to learn more about the step-by-step process of how books are made today.


Books Being Printed

How a Book is Printed

One of the most exciting steps in how books are made today is how a book is printed. It’s a common misconception that books are printed page by page, but that’s not the case! The printing process involves metal plates for stamping text and large reels of paper that receive ink transfers through a printing press. Once the printing process is complete, the reels of paper are then cut down into readable pages, stacked, bundled and ready to be bound. Talk about a cutting-edge process!


How a Book is Made: Step-by-Step

1. Make the Paper

The first step in making a book is making the paper to print on. Making paper requires raw wood that gets turned into pulp and then sprayed on large mesh screens. Once applied to the screens, the wet pulp gets made into a layered mat and squeezed by a series of presses to remove the water and dry it out. After the mat is dry, it gets run through heated rollers and compressed into one continuous roll of paper that can be up to 30 feet wide!


2. Prepare the Plates

The next step is to prepare the printing plates that hold the book’s text. These printing plates are prepared by burning rubber onto the metal plates, which will then leave behind the book’s text. Here’s an interesting fact: each printing plate can print 16 pages, which means a 450-page book would require approximately 28 plates for printing. That’s a lot of plates to prepare!


3. Print the Book

Once the plates are prepared, a reel of paper is loaded into the printing press on a chain of rollers. First, the roller transfers ink onto the metal plates prepared in step two. Then the rollers spray water onto the plate, removing any excess ink that shouldn’t make it onto the paper. Lastly, the print cylinders transfer the inked area onto a cylinder that pastes the image onto the paper. After the paper is printed, it is then cut, stacked, bundled, and ready to be bound into a beautiful book!


4. Print the Book Cover

Since book covers are often more complex than the inner pages of a book, they get printed on a specialized printer that can accommodate the finer details. The size of paper rolls at these printers is much smaller, so they often print two book covers on one piece of paper. However, the actual printing process is very similar to that of the internal pages. And of course, before there can be any printing, there is also the time needed for the artists to create the beautiful covers we see adorning these books.


5. Assemble the Book

The last step of how books are made today is putting everything together! Since the book gets printed in sections, workers must correctly stack all the pieces before the book gets glued together. Once the book gets glued together, the pages get trimmed one last time. Now it’s complete and ready to hit the shelves!


We hope you enjoyed learning about how books are made today. While the process has changed slightly with new technologies and increasing demand over the years, it’s incredible how efficient the book printing process has become. If you’re looking for new books to add to your collection but don’t want to pay full price, check out Book Outlet for the lowest prices on brand new books.


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