Sunday, November 9, 2014

Why Do Books Have Chapters?

My son posed a wonderful question to me as I was reading him his bedtime story, "why do books have chapters"? I told him that I didn't know. Perhaps it is to break up the story, and make it easier to read. Perhaps it is to separate the subjects, parts, scenes, being written about.

I searched on Google, and found that originally writing was done on scrolls, and when the scrolls were transformed into books, the individual scrolls became individual chapters in the books.

Perhaps now it is a way to indicate the pieces that go together to form a whole and complete idea; each chapter being an individual piece of Lego, assembled in a specific order by the author, to form a specific work. The same book, with the same chapters, assembled in a different order, would form a completely different work. Perhaps the chapters, like scenes in a movie or a play, are whole ideas, and the book is the collected ideas' interplay.

Why do books have chapters? Old habit...still useful today.

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