At the time of Pompeii, paper was expensive and difficult to make. Paper and parchment manufacturing involved papyrus or animal skin and was reserved for official documents and books. The Romans used writing for more everyday purposes, however, such as making lists, leaving instructions, or educating children. For these needs they used a wax tablet and stylus (a sharpened tool for scratching the wax.) It was simpler to make, and the wax could be scraped out, melted, and re-poured so that the tablet could be reused many times.