China was the first country to print books. It started during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The Chinese were using woodblocks (earliest printing technology) for centuries and then Bi Sheng (990-1051), who lived during the Song Dynasty in China, invented the “movable type” in the 1000s.
Movable type is where each letter is carved into separate small material and then arranged on a block, later pressed against paper to be visible to read. The letters can be rearranged as much as you like and can be reused, this is why it is called movable type.
The earliest woodblock printed book is the Chinese book, ‘Diamond Sutra’ which was created in 868 AD. The book was created with a method known as block printing, which is utilized as a panel of hard-carved wooden blocks in reverse. Even now it is displayed at the British library- the book lettering is still clean and clear. And the best- known Chinese movable type printed book is ‘Book of Agriculture’ by Wang Zhen in 1313.
1. What Was the First Book Ever to Be Printed in China?
- A. Gutenberg Bible
- B. The Diamond Sutra
- C. The Epic of Gilgamesh
- D. Doctrina Christiana
It is also said that Johannes Gutenberg’s Gutenberg Bible was the first printed book but long before this Chinese and Korean inventors had been producing printed books for centuries.
Gutenberg invented the printing press, but it was not the first. Movable type by the Chinese has been in use for centuries and movable type is just the improved version of Bi Sheng type.