The etymological origin of the term ream It is in Arabic rizmah, which can be translated as "package" . The concept is used to name a set of sheets from paper . For example: “We have to buy a ream to print the new forms”, "Can you help me load the reams and take them to the tank?", "The boss asked me to get a ream".
The dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE ) details that a ream is formed by twenty paper hands . To understand this definition, we must know what the idea of hand refers to and understand how the paper is divided.
In ancient times, the sheets were counted by hand . The leaves that were cut from a coil used to separate in five-leaf booklets . Every five booklets, in turn, created a hand . It can be said, therefore, that a paper hand consisted of twenty five sheets (five for each of the five booklets).
By grouping twenty hands, finally, a ream . If each hand had twenty-five sheets, a ream of twenty paper hands had 500 sheets. That is why today the reams that can be purchased in the shops Include this number of sheets.
It is also important to know that, throughout history, the term ream has been used to refer to different quantities. That is, it has not always been equivalent to 500 sheets but has also been used to name a set of 480 sheets, for example. That was something that was progressively changing for different reasons, until finally it was set in the amount with which we identify it today.
By extension to the concept of ream, we can talk about half ream (the 250-sheet package), quarter (125 sheets) or fifth (100 sheets), all conventional denominations of the packets of sheets according to the quantity offered.
In the same way, in relation to the ream we have to expose the existence of another series of units that are used frequently to also refer to the quantities of sheets of paper that are being worked on. Thus, for example, among the most common are:
-Package. Under this name reference is made to what are two reams, that is, 1,000 sheets.
-Tied. This other term is used to name what is the set of three reams, therefore, 1,500 sheets.
-Bale. A total of five reams are what they call themselves, in terms of neither more nor less than 2,500 sheets.
It should be noted that reams can be distinguished by size (being A4 the most common today) and the weight of its leaves.
Also we can not ignore that, at present, all these terms are those used by printers when requesting paper from their suppliers and thus be able to undertake their work. In this way, based on everything they have to print, they will proceed to request reams, bundles, bundles, half reams ...