In medieval times, books were written on a more expensive archetype of paper called parchment–they are sheep and calves which take assurance in that.˚ So whenever a monk wrote, he did so extremely carefully; he simply couldn’t afford to make a mistake. The result was a compendium of incredible illuminations, a few of which I recently studied in the special collection here at my university:
I can’t even begin to imagine how ridiculously edifying it must have been, at a time when people were forced to rely so much on memory, to actually write something down in a tangible book. People’s thoughts were much more organised, simply because they had to be; creating a book was the grand consummation of years of very meticulous thought.
˚ Pardon my ineloquent Shakespeare reference.