The Small Town Producing 140 Million Books A Year

Nicholas Rossis has unearthed some fascinating information about where that book you’re reading was printed and bound.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Berryville Graphics | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Photo by Edward Leonard, Clarke Daily News

The last page of your favorite mystery novel probably offers this brief, final mystery: “Printed and bound in Berryville, Virginia.”

Just where is Berryville, you may ask. A question that can only grow when you learn that a town of some 4,000 people is responsible for producing some 140 million books a year.

A Trappist Monastery And A Printer

As Andrew Madigan of The Washington Post reports, Berryville is the seat of Clarke County, five miles from West Virginia. Buildings of note include a Trappist monastery, a soldier’s home and a very old pie company. With a population of 4,185, Berryville has a healthy, ironic sense of its own obscurity.

And yet, the town’s only major printer, Berryville Graphics (BVG), became in 1998 the nation’s No. 3 book manufacturer with a brand-new patent for its Duratech binding technology. This was a…

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15 thoughts on “The Small Town Producing 140 Million Books A Year

    1. I was surprised to read it. I always assumed books were produced in large cities. My grandfather worked at a large book binding company in Cincinnati when I was a child. It disappeared when I was in high school.

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        1. 😊 Norah, though I never remember my mother reading to us, she read a lot. My grandmother and I read the same books. She would pass them down to me when she finished them and then we would discuss them after I read them.

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          1. What a wonderful reading experience for you to share with your grandmother. That would help create a strong bond. Maybe, like many other things, it skips a generation. I don’t remember my parents reading to me either, though they both read a lot.

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        1. My oldest lived in Alexandria, Springfield, and Burke. He now lives in Boston. My youngest lived in Alexandria and now lives a few miles from me.


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