Books in Gehennum, and for that matter in most of the World of Isles, are written on rolls of papyrus, sometimes of great length. This makes it most inconvenient to find a particular place, makes indexing difficult, and causes books to suffer from a good deal of wear and tear in the course of normal reading. Many books run to multiple volumes, i.e. several rolls.

Books include histories, travels, biographies, bestiaries, herbals, catalogues of all sorts, collections of poetry, texts on various subjects from agriculture to magic (but intended for the scholar rather than the practitioner), records of religious formulas and ceremonial procedures and, after Aspasia, novels (before Aspasia prose was not used for fiction or legends). There are no encyclopædias, dictionaries, or other works of reference.

Books are hand-written by scribes. Large editions are dictated to roomfuls of scribes, producing some economies of scale, but all books are expensive. Private libraries sometimes run to hundreds of volumes. Temples and sanctuaries often have thousands of volumes of records. Only abbeys devoted to Chansith tend to have really comprehensive libraries. (see House Azure.)

Because they are expensive and produced in small numbers, any books except those of the widest appeal tend to be scarce and in danger of being lost to accident, carelessness, and ignorance. See a Crown of Feathers.

Because books are scarce, literacy is not so much use, and is a rare accomplishment except among the rich.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.