Exploring the World of Books: 30 Fascinating Facts
Welcome to a world of fascinating facts about books! Have you ever wondered about the amazing secrets hidden within books? You’re about to embark on a journey into the intriguing universe of literature. Whether you’re a passionate reader or just curious, these mind-boggling book facts will leave you astounded.
Books offer a temporary escape from your own story. Most people find immense joy in sitting down with a book at the end of the day.
30 Amazing Book Facts.
1. Voracious Reading Nations: Did you know that the average person reads 12 books a year? According to the NOP World Culture Score, India is the country that reads the most, exceeding 10 hours a week. Thailand and China are in second and third place, with 9 and 8 hours per week, respectively, dedicated to this activity.
2. Etymology of “Book”: The word “book” appeared for the first time in a manuscript belonging to Alfred the Great, the Anglo-Saxon king of the kingdom of Wessex from 871 to 899. Books did not acquire the name of books until much later.
3. Literary Generosity: The author of the short story Peter Pan, JM Barrie gave the copyright to the hospital that bears his name – JM Barrie on Great Ormond Street, for which the hospital still receives money even today. Copyrighting this hospital has helped save many lives.
4. Epic Literary Endeavors: The longest novel ever written is “In Search of Lost Time” by Marcel Proust. This masterpiece earned its place in the Guinness Book of World Records, consisting of 13 volumes, exceeding a total of 1.3 million words.
5. Colossal Cartographic Tome: The Klencke Atlas, recognized as the largest book globally, stands at an impressive 1.75 meters in height and 1.90 meters in width when fully open. This colossal work of cartographic history provides an awe-inspiring view of the world’s geography.
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6. Archimedes’ Mathematical Erasure: In the 13th century, a monk took an old book written by Archimedes (in the 10th century), erased the contents and wrote prayers over it. Scientists have determined that he erased a book that laid the foundations of mathematics thousands of years before Newton and Leibniz.
7. Standing Authorship: Virginia Woolf, a renowned author, wrote all her books standing up. This distinctive approach adds an intriguing layer to her creative process, showcasing the diverse methods authors can employ in their craft.
8. Verbose Victor Hugo: The longest sentence ever printed in literature belongs to Victor Hugo. This appears in the author’s best-known novel, namely “Miserabilii,” having a length of 823 words.
9. Agatha Christie’s Cognitive Clues: Agatha Christie’s novel “Elephants Can Remember” reveals signs of Alzheimer’s in the author, a fifth of her vocabulary is lost, mostly using non-specific words such as “thing.” Also, a sharp decrease in the “density of the idea” can be observed, the last line of the novel being “Maybe it’s good not to remember.”
10. Unusual Book Binding: There are four books bound in human skin at the Harvard University Library. Anthropodermic bibliopegy bears the name of this practice from the 17th century and consists of making covers from human skin. Interestingly, doctors used to do this, and there were also several books bound in animal skins.
11. Stephen King’s Discarded Triumph: Stephen King threw the original script for “Carrie” in the trash. His wife Tabitha, after finding it in the trash and reading it, convinced him to finish it and send it to the publisher. The highlight is that this novel is the one that made him famous.
12. Historical Date Mistake: The first book printed at Oxford was a study of the Apostles’ Creed. On the first page of the book, the date was written incorrectly; instead of 1478, the year 1468 was written.
13. Library Safeguarding: Books used to be chained to library shelves to prevent theft. Yes, in the past, libraries employed ingenious methods to safeguard their valuable book collections. One such practice involved chaining books to the library shelves, effectively preventing any unauthorized removal of these precious literary works.
14. Writing Endeavors: To write a novel, a writer needs about 475 hours, bearing in mind that an average-sized novel contains about 90,000 words, which is 189 words per hour.
15. Priceless Manuscript: The most expensive book in the world is called “Codex Leicester” and was written by Leonardo Da Vinci. It was purchased in 1994 by Bill Gates for 30.8 million dollars. If Bill Gates decided to sell this book today, experts say the price would double or even triple.
16. Fear of Empty Shelves: Did you know that the fear of running out of reading material is called Abibliophobia? For book enthusiasts, Abibliophobia can be a relatable concern, as the love for reading often comes with an insatiable appetite for more captivating stories and knowledge.
17. Birth of Bestsellers: The first book that received the title of “bestseller” was “Fools Of Nature,” written by the American writer Alice Brown, in 1889. Alice Brown’s success as a writer helped establish the idea of bestsellers, a term still used for popular and influential books today.
18. Microscopic Masterpiece: The smallest book in the world is called “Teeny Ted from Turnip Town” and is part of the Book of Records. The book measures 100 micrometers by 70 micrometers and even has an ISBN number: 978-1-894897-17-4.
19. Global Literary Impact: The top 3 most-read books in the world are: The Bible, Quotes by Chairman Mao Zedong, and the Harry Potter series. The total number of Harry Potter books sold worldwide exceeds 500 million, meaning that there is one Harry Potter book for every 17.5 people on earth.
20. Global Literacy Challenge: One in 5 adults worldwide cannot read or write. This fact is a little sad because in the West, education is provided by the state. This global literacy issue highlights the urgent need for accessible education and literacy programs across different regions and communities.
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21. Reading to Prevent Alzheimer’s: A study found that a person who reads regularly is two and a half times less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. This fact is amazing and one that many people should think about.
22. The Love of Old Book Smell: There is a word dedicated to those who love the smell of old books: bibliosmia. Quite often, people say that they prefer physical books over e-books, but they are not able to give an exact reason.
23. Typewriter Revolution: The first book that was written with the help of the typewriter was “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” written by Mark Twain. Twain’s clever use of the typewriter was a significant milestone in literary history. It showed how writers could use new technology for storytelling in a novel way.
24. Tolkien’s Typewriter Triumph: The author of the work “The Lord of the Rings,” JRR Tolkien wrote the entire trilogy with only two fingers! JRR Tolkien said the process of writing the trilogy was grueling, at over 1,200 pages, with the way he learned to type (with only two fingers) taking more time.
25. Norwegian Literary Support: When a book is published in Norway, the government buys 1,000 copies, 1,500 if it’s a children’s book, and distributes them to libraries across the country.
26. Messages Beyond Earth: Some books traveled to space! NASA sent “The Golden Record” with Voyager 1 and 2 in 1977. It contains Earth’s sounds, music, greetings in 55 languages, and even a message from President Jimmy Carter. It symbolizes humanity’s achievements for potential extraterrestrial audiences.
27. Roosevelt’s Reading Regimen: Former US President Theodore Roosevelt used to read a book a day. His voracious reading habit allowed him to consume a wide range of literature, contributing to his immense knowledge and wisdom.
28. Lost Treasures of Alexandria: The Great Library of Alexandria held countless ancient scrolls and texts. Yet, fires and conflicts over centuries have left many lost. It’s estimated the library housed hundreds of thousands of texts, a vast repository of knowledge from various civilizations.
29. WWII’s Book Recycling: During World War II, material shortages led publishers to recycle old books into paper for new ones. This conservation method contributed to the war effort. Famous books may have been reborn as entirely new literary works.
39. Hidden Art in Books: Rare books hide a secret: fore-edge painting. Skilled artists create intricate art on page edges, invisible when the book is closed. When pages are fanned, hidden artwork emerges, adding a unique layer of artistry to reading. Paintings often feature landscapes, portraits, or book-related scenes.
Conclusion: Facts About Books
These incredible book facts have unveiled a treasure trove of knowledge about the literary world. From the origins of the word “book” to the smallest book ever created, we’ve explored an array of astonishing tidbits.
Remember, books are more than just stories; they’re a gateway to endless discoveries. So, the next time you pick up a book, cherish it as a vessel of wisdom and wonder.
You can liken the book to a shy stranger who approaches you when you least expect it and turns out to be a reliable friend you can count on for years to come.
If you know of any other curiosities that should be added to the list, feel free to let me know. And if you enjoyed these interesting book facts, why not share them with your friends on social media?