A book was a tool to store information.

Grand adventures are tales full of wonder, daring, and peril. They all began as slapdash accounts of some folk having horrible time, long ago and far away, and found a little lace and glimmer along the way.
Thus do sages solemnly record all "history." Whatever gods smile upon you grant that storytellers favor your tale, so that it displays you brightly, and twists you not so much that your very name and face are lost.
— Arasper's Little Book by Arasper Ardanneth, the Sage of the Road[2]

Description[edit | edit source]

A book consisted of a collection of pages that were glued or bound together. The pages usually were not made of paper made from wood, but from some kind of parchment made of sheep, goat, or calf skin. The reason for this was that Toril did not have the necessary technology to mass-produce paper, it was―if at all―only produced alchemically. Pages in spellbooks and other valuable books were made of vellum.[3] However, paper made of linen, bone, ivory, or metal foil were also known to be used for the pages of a spellbook, owing to the greater durability of these materials.[4]

Binding a book was done by hand. While it was not common, the pages could receive additional protection through a wooden cover that was in turn covered by leather while the pages were stitched to a leather sheet.[5] Other cover materials used for spellbooks were thin wood, soft or hard metal, or dragonhide.[4]

Books containing poetry, historic texts, and lore, as well as gnomish technical diagrams, were commonly carried by adventurers.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

Bookstores[edit | edit source]

Book Wyrm's Treasure
Located in Trollskull Alley in the North Ward of Waterdeep and owned by Rishaal. The shop sold all sorts of books and had a collection of spellbooks from which customers could copy spells.[6]
Serpent Books & Folios
a bookstore in Waterdeep owned by Jannaxil Serpentil.[7]

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Candlekeep
The largest library in the Realms. It also sold copies of tomes of non-magical lore and spellbooks.[8]
Library of Tarchamus
the hidden mountain library in ancient Netheril that housed over 100,000 volumes.[9]
Sorceller's Encapsulate
The guildhall and the library on both, arcane and mundane knowledge in Daggerford.[10]

Publishers[edit | edit source]

Tym Waterdeep Limited
A large publishing company located in Waterdeep. It was the publisher of all books and chapbooks written by Volothamp Geddarm.[11]

Reputation[edit | edit source]

A book was a luxury item. They were written by hand as printing technology was a secret held by the Lantanese. There existed only about a dozen copies of each book.[3]

Books were, despite being a luxury item, only lightly guarded when transported by traders. The reason for this was that books were not very attractive for tribal creatures and monsters, who often attacked such caravans. That said, a danger was posed by rival merchants who hired mercenaries to sabotage the trading endeavors of their rivals.[12]

Notable Owners[edit | edit source]

As mentioned above, books were a luxury item. As a general rule, only nobles or temples owned them.[13]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 150–151. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  2. Ed Greenwood (August 2006). Swords of Eveningstar. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 14. ISBN 0-7869-4022-0.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 87, 90. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 173. ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.
  5. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  6. Christopher Perkins, James Haeck, James Introcaso, Adam Lee, Matthew Sernett (September 2018). Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 33. ISBN 978-0-7869-6625-7.
  7. Ed Greenwood (January 1993). Volo's Guide to Waterdeep. (TSR, Inc.), p. 180. ISBN 1-56076-335-3.
  8. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 74–77. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  9. Erin M. Evans (December 2012). Brimstone Angels: Lesser Evils (Kindle ed.). (Wizards of the Coast), loc. 4080. ISBN B007WN65IY.
  10. Ossian Studios (June 2018). Neverwinter Nights: Darkness over Daggerford. Beamdog.
  11. Warning: cannot cite an anthology for Realms of Magic
  12. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (March 2006). Power of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 69. ISBN 0-7869-3910-9.
  13. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 87. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
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