With high technology surrounding most of us every day, it is sometimes hard to imagine spending more than a few hours finishing a correspondence. Outside of works meant for publication to wide audiences (and sometimes inside even that limit) most of us spend minutes rather than years composing our output.
However things like The Parker Library housed in Corpus Cristi at Cambridge University allow us to quietly remember some people spent lifetimes on one copy of one book. And they produced results we work to preserve today. Whenever I see illuminated manuscripts I sink into the images, the depth of detail and the sheer physical beauty therein. It is incredible. I hope you like their website!
“For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain crying out for mercy, & let there be no surcease to his agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails [. . .] when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him forever. [sic]” (Basbanes, 35) Medieval Book Curse
PS: those who spent lifetimes on these manuscripts did not take their use lightly :-D. Like DRM, but for monks.