In 1456 on the 24th, Johann Gutenberg finished the print run of what has come to be called The Gutenberg Bible, which is more than a little self-serving on his part, don’t you agree? Once the run was completed, if you read between the lines, history tells us that Johann and the boys called it a day and went out for a couple of drinks, probably beer since he happened to be in Germany at the time, which was awfully convenient. The Gutenberg Bible is significant because it is the first book printed using movable type. The print run began on February 23, 1455 and in little more than a year and a half Gutenberg produced 180 copies of the Bible. This was a startling improvement in the production of books. It has been estimated that were the same book produced by hand (You know, by those monks who shave the tops of their heads) it would take that long to produce a single copy. Gutenberg’s development of an efficient printing method paved the way for books to be mass-produced, thereby making books accessible to the great masses of the public hungering for something other than cereal boxes to read. Oh, it took a while for the literacy rates to rise enough so that writing and publishing became profitable undertakings, but it did eventually happen. However, when I see bookshops filled with books by Danielle Steel, Eric Schlosser, Nora Roberts, and Victoria Gotti I find that I really have to ask myself the question “Was what Gutenberg did really worth it?” However, that’s just me. I also tend to respond to questions posed by strangers by pointing my finger at them and screaming, “Get thee behind me, demon spawn of Satan” so I might not be one to be the judge of the literary merit of other people’s work.