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The Print Revolution and its Impact

The shift from hand printing to mechanical printing led to the print revolution. This revolution transformed the lives of people, changing their relationship to information and knowledge, and with institutions and authorities. It created awareness among people and opened up new ways of looking at things.

Let us see how the print revolution influenced the people

  • The reading habit of the public increased, as books were now less costly. This was because the time and labour required to produce a book came down, and multiple copies could be produced with greater ease.
  • Books flooded the market, and were easily available for the public.
  • Before printed books flooded the markets the common people used to gather in Public places and books were read out to them. They heard sacred texts read out, ballads recited, and folk tales narrated.
  • This listening culture turned to reading culture when books became cheaper.

    Public Reading

    To read books one had to be literate. The rates of literacy in most European countries were very low till the twentieth century. To overcome this problem of illiteracy publishers printed popular ballads and folk tales, and these books were abundantly illustrated with pictures.

    Listening / Oral culture continued for some time in Europe. Soon the literacy rate increased and people took to reading books.

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