The word book, which has been around since before books were pages between covers, has some pretty specific meanings at sea. When we say we make book, cook the books, book a trip or put our name in the book, we are frequently going back to sailor speak.
A book was a merchant term for a way of packing prepared yardage, particularly muslin or cotton, for shipment. In this way it could be more easily stored in the hold of a ship. A prayer book was a small piece of stone used to scrub particularly tight corners on deck during the daily swabbing.
To be brought to book meant to be made to account for an error or wrong doing. A booking thus became a reprimand from a superior, particularly in the case of an officer.
Most ancient of all, from the standpoint of language, was the ship's books. Here the crew was noted, including name, rank, time served, previous ships served upon, bookings, floggings, etc. ad nauseum. Many even included where each individual man jack slung his hammock.
The idea of ship's books goes back to the Ancient Romans who were very good about keeping records. The habit continued among sailors around the world. Chinese junks, Barbary galleys, Gulf privateers and naval ships under every flag kept some form of books. The idea of keeping a clear trail of data has continued and invaded other areas of business aside from the sea. Next time you have to document your whereabouts for your employer or make sure all your ducks are in a row on your expense account, thank your seafaring ancestors.
So there. Short and sweet and unfortunately late. Forgive me Brethren. I'll go make a note of it...