In the introduction to The Cambridge Companion to the History of the Book, editor Leslie Howsam writes:
"The history of the book is a way of thinking about how people have given material form to knowledge and stories."
This suggests that our conception of books must go beyond the printed volumes on bookstore or library shelves.
After all, printed texts date back at least 5,000 years, whereas the mass printing books began in the middle of the last millennium,
and books only acquired their more modern form and reach in the last couple of centuries.