We all know when printing first started, but when was the first book compiled will always be a bit of a mystery with different civilizations staking their claim.
In India the tradition of passing detailed philosophical and spiritual knowledge from Guru to Shishya (student) was largely done through oral tradition. No doubt, the knowledge in question may have suffered distortion and amplification through such a medium, before the first written manuscripts were compiled and made into standard reference.
Following is a fun take on the 'introduction of a book' to European monks. It analogous to what it's like to introduce someone to new computer programs.