Tag: book culture

Seven Surprising Facts About Books for National Trivia Day

It’s National Trivia Day, and I always want to know more about books. Here are seven book fun facts to celebrate the holiday right – and a hot tip to make ANOTHER holiday more bookish. Gold, dead languages, and a shocking number of knights – book history is INTERESTING.

 

Oldest Book

Image via Wigan Lane Books

The oldest book of all time is the Etruscan Gold Book, found in a canal in Bulgaria, and is now in the Bulgarian History Museum. It’s six pages and 24k gold, and written in Etruscan characters and illustrated. Clocking in at 2,673 years old, it’s the oldest book ever discovered, by a little over a hundred years. The runner up is also gold, the Pyrgi Gold Tablets, found in Italy and also written in Etuscan. (According to Wigan Lane Books)

 

 

Oldest Novel in English

Image result for le morte d'arthur
Image via Amazon

The title IS contested, but Le Mort d’Arthur by Thomas Malory is a hundred years older than the next candidate, Beware the Cat by William Baldwin. Though the spelling and grammar are inconsistently preserved today, this is still considered the definitive text on King Arthur. First published in 1485, there are bound to be some slips over the centuries. Malory’s original title was The Whole Book of King Arthur and His Noble Knights of the Round Table, but the publisher changed it after his death. (According to Wikipedia)

 

 

Longest Novel

Image result for Devta Mohiuddin Nawab
Image via Free Novels and Books

The longest novel ever written was Devta by Mohiuddin Nawab. Written between 1977 and 2010, it clocks in at over 8000 pages, in over fifty volumes. It was serialized in Urdu for all 33 years, and consists of a fictional bibliography of Farhad Ali Taimoor, a man who develops telepathic powers. This aside, it’s primarily a crime mystery. Interestingly, both runners up are French. (According to Wikipedia).

 

 

Most Banned

Image result for oldest bible cover
Image via Pinterest

This is kind of a straightforward answer, but the Bible is now the most banned book. It’s largely been banned in schools and classrooms, at least in the US, which also seems a little straightforward, but maybe also too much? Don’t ban books, people! Check out Strand Bookstore’s list of banned books for some classics they can’t stop you from reading. At least not in some places! Yikes.

 

 

Oldest Dictionary

Urra=Hubullu The Earliest Known Dictionaries (Circa 2,300 BCE). It consists of Sumerian and Akkadian lexical lists ordered by topic.
Image via Pinterest

The oldest dictionary ever written is considered to be this bilingual list of Sumarian-Akkadian words from about 2300BCE. Many modern day dictionaries of Akkadian exist if you want to learn an incredibly old language, and who doesn’t? The next oldest dictionaries were Babylonian and Chinese. The first English dictionary dates to 1604. (According to Wikipedia)

 

 

Best Selling Novel

Image result for don quixote
Image via The Conversation

The best selling novel of all time is Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, according to Best Life. It was published in Spanish in 1605 and 1615, and translated to English almost immediately, the first part being published in 1612 and the second in 1620. It follows a book mad knight errant and his farmer squire. It was first thought of as a comic novel, but during the French revolution it was viewed more as a moral work. (According to Wikipedia)

 

 

Jólabókaflóð

Image result for gift wrapped books
Image via Hearts & Minds Books

In Iceland, Christmas gifts are given on Christmas Eve, and they’re BOOKS. I mean, that’s basically what every gifting event already looks like for me, but enshrining it in tradition? I am IN. Should we all move to Iceland right now? They spend the rest of the night reading. They turned Christmas into the perfect holiday. I’m buying a plane ticket.

Image via Copy Blogger

 

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The Free Library in Your Front Yard

We all love libraries, but if you’ve ever had to wade twenty minutes through the snow just to get your reserves, you might wish to have one closer to home. And it’s possible! With Little Free Libraries. And fear not! Whether you live in the forest or in Brooklyn, you can make little free libraries part of your life, and you should. What’s better than adding community libraries to the public ones?

 

Image via Snoop Charlotte

 

If you’ve got the resources and the space, you can start a library of your own whenever you want to. There are tons of designs and colors on their website, and you can put one anywhere you have two square feet of land and about four vertical. I’ve seen them tucked into gardens, hanging over wrought iron fences, and on the side of the road. Just donate a few books (or thrift them up) and you’re running a library. But if you’re renting, or restless, don’t despair. There are little libraries near you.

 

 

Image via Book Riot

 

Okay, so your library probably won’t be in a defunct phone booth, but the little hutches on the website are cute as it gets, and there’s nothing like getting lost on a cold night and stumbling across a tiny library draped in ivy. But you don’t have to just wander Brooklyn hoping to stumble across something magical (though I do recommend it if you have the time)—because they have a map of all their locations.

 

 

Image via Pinterest

 

There are over 90,000 locations in 90 countries, according to their website, but they can be few and far between in some areas. That’s why it’s so important to start new ones anywhere and everywhere possible! But don’t lose hope. There are two in my neighborhood, so if you’re in any kind of city, you’ll probably have decent luck, and it’s always worth a check either way. There are also sometimes free libraries in parks, so you might be able to find or start one that way. Wherever you live and whatever you read, the Little Free Library is a wonderful resource for book sharing.

 

 

Featured image via City of Princeton 

 

 

 


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#Bookstagrammer of the Week: @shelfbyshelf

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

This Week’s Featured creator: @shelfbyshelf

 

Each week Bookstr is going to be highlighting your favorite Bookstagrammers. A Bookstagrammer is someone who shares all of their literary interests, ranging from book reviews and aesthetically pleasing book pictures to outfit pictures featuring their current reads. Anything that evokes bibliophile feels is on their Instagram pages. Make sure to give these Bookstagrammers the love they deserve! This week we are getting to know a Bookstagram account that celebrates diversity and LGBTQ+: Hunter, or as you would know him on Instagram, @shelfbyshelf.

 

Here is his story:

View this post on Instagram

📚Meet The Bookstagrammer📚 Hey, you guys!! It’s been a while since I introduced myself. My name’s Hunter, and here’s some fun facts about me! • I’m from South Georgia, currently living in North Florida with my husband and our dog, Willow. • I’ve always liked reading, but it wasn’t until I graduated high school that I began reading such a high volume of books. All of my friends were off at college, and because I didn’t have the opportunity to start school with everyone else, I started reading again. I’d read somewhere that Marilyn Monroe read so much because she wanted to be cultured and knowledgeable—still not sure if that’s true, but I like the idea—, and I thought I could do the same for myself. • I average about 100 books a year. • When I’m not reading, I’m pretending to do yoga—it’s hard, y’all. I also listen to the same music I’ve listened to for ten years. I also watch Beaches and My Best Friends Wedding on repeat. • I lived with my granny for most of my life. Her mom moved in with us when I was 10, and it was like Grey Gardens in the south. My granny is a mix of Little Edie and Margaret White from Carrie (Piper Laurie edition) • I used to make money doing portraits of people, then I did hair, and now I work for the state. But my dream is to be a writer of books, essays, plays, etc. I also wouldn’t mind acting into Oscar glory. My goal at 18 was to win 17 oscars (by the time I was 21), win a Pulitzer, the National Book Award, and the Nobel Prize For literature. And then a Grammy, tony, and Emmy—I wanted to do the full PEGOT. • Anyway, that’s just a little bit about me! If you have any other questions, comment below. And if we haven’t met yet, tell me some fun facts about you! And if we have met, I’m sure there’s still more to learn! Lol so share something new. And thanks to everyone for joining in the fun with me! – – – #books #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #meetthebookstagrammer #yoga #yogi #yogamat #love #hotyoga #pilates #aboutme #epicreads #mysistertheserialkiller #oyinkanbraithwaite #gayboy #lgbt #lgbtqia #gaypride #bookish #doubleday #selfie #thriller #booktalk #books📚 #📚

A post shared by Hunter | Shelf By Shelf (@shelfbyshelf) on

 

image via @shelfbyshelf

 

 

Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account

 

Hunter started out small on Instagram with only his love of books until he received a shout-out from a fellow Bookstagrammer.

 

I’ve been posting about books on Instagram for about seven years, but just in a general capacity. In 2018, my New Year’s resolution was to post a little review for every book I read. I just wanted to share my book thoughts with the few of my friends who read. I had no idea what Bookstagram was, and I thought I was the only one posting about books every day. Then this woman Larissa ( @bklnbooks ) followed me, and at some point she said she wanted to shout-out LGBTQ+ “Bookstagrammers.” I didn’t think I qualified as a Bookstagrammer, but I asked and she said yes. A few months after that, I changed my handle to @shelfbyshelf. It all happened pretty organically.

 

Hunter has a long list of favorite books (never enough favorites, right?), including:

His favorite book cover out of all eleven of those is Fates and Furies.

 

 

image via @shelfbyshelf

 

Hunter’s fun fact is that he is also involved in art.

I occasionally draw portraits—I was known for it for a while, and I have drawings in at least four continents, which I think is pretty nifty.

 

 

Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming

 

Hunter’s aesthetic features books (of course) and the outdoors.

I didn’t think I had an aesthetic until someone posted a picture and said, “I’m stealing Hunter’s aesthetic!” And it was an angled stack of books. I’m not sure the best way to describe it, but I guess I’d just say, happy Florida green. Which probably isn’t accurate at all.

 

 

So many of Hunter’s pictures are amazing and showcase his personality, but there’s one that makes him feel particularly confident.

My favorite post was when I talked about how so many books that came out in 2017 were about grief of some kind. And my favorite picture is one I posted recently of me in a crop top surrounded by books, because it felt very Call Me By Your Name, and I wouldn’t have had the confidence to post it a year ago.

 

 

 

image via @shelfbyshelf

 

 

Hunter’s personal favorite Bookstagram accounts are both aesthetically pleasing and celebratory of diversity.

I love so many accounts/people on there, but I’ll name a few and why:

@armyofwords – She’s the most thoughtful and widely read reviewer, and the way she engages with the text inspires me to be a better reader.

@thestackspod – an amazing account with an amazing podcast. Also, just a super kind person

@bookedbytim – his account is gorgeous, and he’s a queer icon who is under-appreciated in the community.

@blo288 – Bernie reads a wide variety, and he also posts pictures of himself and his fiancé, and that makes me swoon.

 

 

He wants to tell his fellow Bookstagrammers:

 

Don’t feel pressured to post the right books or read everything the moment it comes out. And remember that there’s a way to be kind in your reviews, even when you hate a book. 

 

 

 

image via @shelfbyshelf

 

When should you look for Hunter’s newest bookish posts and reviews?

I normally just post once a day, and take a break if I need to. I like the consistency—it helps me feel like I’ve accomplished a little something each day—but I also don’t like to feel pressured to post content all throughout each day. One seemed like a good balance for me.

 

Chapter 3: TBR

Hunter’s current TBR books are Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli, Miss Burma by Charmaine Craig, and Three Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell. 

 

When asked to choose a publisher to supply him with a lifetime of books, Hunter chose Riverhead.

They have gorgeous covers, diverse authors, great content. I’ve loved every book I’ve read from them.

 

 

image via @shelfbyshelf

 

Chapter 4: What does bookstagram mean to you?

 

Hunter’s love for books has helped him define who he is.

I grew up in South Georgia, and as a poor queer boy from a broken family, I wasn’t liked very much. This page is a reminder to me that you can be your authentic self and find your people, and they will love you for everything you used to be so insecure about.

Aside from posting reviews, I always want to facilitate conversations. Whether it’s about why books can be healing, why it’s important to read diversely, what books teach us about language etc. I try to create posts that will generate a thoughtful and nuanced conversation. And before each post, I remind myself of this post from Kristen Bell’s therapist: “Honesty without tact is cruelty.”

 

Hunter hopes his Bookstagram will bring joy to the world.

I think we sometimes struggle to find joy in our world right now, and I try to spread joy and kindness as much as possible. 

 

 

Well, what did you think of @shelfbyshelf? You HAVE to watch his drunk book talk highlights! Do you have a favorite Bookstagrammer in mind? Contact us through any of our social media platforms and maybe you will see them here next week! 

 

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

Featured image via @shelfbyshelf

 

#Bookstagrammer of the Week: @the.cozy.bee

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

This Week’s Featured creator: @the.cozy.bee

 

Each week Bookstr is going to be highlighting your favorite Bookstagrammers. A Bookstagrammer is someone who shares all of their literary interests, ranging from book reviews and aesthetically pleasing book pictures to outfit pictures featuring their current reads. Anything that evokes bibliophile feels is on their Instagram pages. Make sure to give these Bookstagrammers the love they deserve! Each page has theme colors or an aesthetic, and this Bookstagrammer’s cozy autumnal theme is perfect for October. This week we are getting to know Brittany, or as you would know her on Instagram, @the.cozy.bee.

Here is her story:

 

 

Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account

Brittany started Bookstagram with a cozy theme in mind and as a bookish way to express her creativity.

 

I originally began posting cozy photos of the books I was reading, a way to get creative and document my reads. I then discovered that there was a whole community of people that have dedicated their pages to all things bookish and so I joined the magical world of Bookstagram, found it unintentionally but it was meant to be. 

 

Brittany’s favorite authors and books span across a wide range of genres, including The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Leigh Bardugo, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and Atticus Poetry.

 

I could just go on forever—every book speaks to me in some way and I treasure every read for different reasons.

 

The Cozy Bee is a member of the Harry Potter, Grishaverse, Narnia Nation, and the SPNFamily fandoms.

 

 

A fun fact about @the.cozy.bee is that she’s ambidextrous, which is perfect for all of her reading and journaling.

 

I can use both my left and my right hands for just about everything.

 

Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming

As a Bookstagrammer, it’s important to judge books by their covers so you can choose the best aesthetics for your photos. In the world of readers and introverts, more and more book covers are attempting to capture that cozy aesthetic. Brittany’s current favorite is the whimsical cover of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert.

 

 

So when should you look out for Brittany’s newest photos if you’re in the mood to feel warm and cozy with a good book?

 

I post everyday, sometimes twice a day. I just enjoy taking pictures and sharing them with Bookstagram and for the timing of my posts… whatever my Instagram insights suggests is best.

 

But how did Brittany know that she’d made it as a Bookstagrammer? And what advice would she give to future Bookstagrammers?

 

When I made my first friend. Bookstagram is a community where we share our love of books. I ‘made it’ when I joined the community. 

The best advice I could give is to just start. A great way to begin is by participating in Bookstagram photo challenges and by engaging with other Bookstagrammers. The most important thing however is that you are having fun.

 

Chapter 3: TBR

Every avid reader has a To Be Read list that they add to in the hopes of acquiring more favorites, and Brittany’s TBR list for this month includes plenty of spooky books to fit her autumn aesthetic. They are:

 

 

 

 

We also asked Brittany if she could pick a publisher to supply her with a lifetime of books and she chose one with a magical theme.

 

Oh wow. I think Bloomsbury Publishing. I think all the magical books come from there. 

 

 

 

Brittany has so many Bookstagrammers that she loves and connects with, and she has positive opinions to share about all of them.

 

  • @sheisconfetti: she has become one of my closest friends and I just love reading her diary entry styled posts each day
  • @geminorum: I have loved her darling account for as long as I’ve been on Bookstagram
  • @bookaline: another long time favourite
  • @mousethatreads: someone I’ve looked up to since starting Bookstagram
  • @gardenofgoldenleaves: another account I have forever adored
  • @wldflowerbooks: a more recent favourite who never fails to make me smile

 

This list could honestly just go on and on, I have met wonderful people on this platform and I am constantly discovering more and more like minded souls with beautiful accounts.

 

Well, what did you think of @the.cozy.bee? Do you have a favorite Bookstagrammer in mind? Contact us through any of our social media platforms and maybe you will see them on here next week! 

 

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

Featured image via @the.cozy.bee

 

#Bookstagrammer of the Week: @mitra_bookish_girl

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

This Week’s Featured creator: @mitra_bookish_girl

 

Each week Bookstr is going to be highlighting your favorite Bookstagrammers. What is a Bookstagrammer you ask? A Bookstagrammer is someone who shares all of their literary interests, ranging from book reviews and aesthetically pleasing book pictures to outfit pictures featuring their current reads. Anything that evokes bibliophile feels is on their Instagram pages. Make sure to give these Bookstagrammers the love they deserve! This week we are getting to know Mitra, or as you would know her on Instagram, @mitra_bookish_girl.

Here is her story: 

 

View this post on Instagram

Hello Dear Bookstagrammers 🤗💕 📚 – If you could visit any fictional world right now, where would you go ? 📚 ~ I'd definitely like to visit the magical city Daevabad to meet some Daevas and some Shafits 😍 to travel through the old and mysterious cursed lake (it would be thrilling), to shop in the Grand Bazaar, to see all their centuries old breathtaking buildings; the Citadel, the Grand Temple, and that Ziggurat Palace that has its own magic 🤩 I've read City of Brass and Kingdom of Copper this year in June, and I'm completely in awe of the Djinn 🧞‍♂️ world Chakraborty has created. It's such a fascinating world with Medieval Middle Eastern setting, lovely enchanting atmosphere, full of magical beings and creatures of water, air, and fire, with diverse characters (YES this djinn world is diverse in so many ways), where men wear turbans and women wear veils and chadors. It's a compelling story of a girl who is a con artist living in Cairo but when she met an Afshin djinn, it changed not just her life but the whole djinn world too. – I've always been fascinated with the Arabian and Persian folklore and mythology, I've grown up reading Arabian Nights, Daastan-e-Ameer-e-Hamza, and Talassum-e-hoshruba, and all these books have a special place in my heart, so when I read the City of Brass it captured my heart completely, it felt familiar, it felt like home. I loved it so much and can't wait to read the third and final book. 📚 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • #bookstagram #cityofbrass #kingdomofcopper #harpervoyager #hardbacks #hardcovers #djinn #daevabadtrilogy #yafantasy #fantasybooks #stillswithstories #flatlayoftheday #booksta #ireadya #ilovereading #bookwormlife #booksaremagic #readinggoals #idratherbereading #bookshark #fortheloveofbooks #yareads #booksparks #avidreader #booklife #bookworld #bookstagrammer #angleshot

A post shared by MITRA MUSTAFA 🇵🇰 (@mitra_bookish_girl) on

Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account

 

Mitra began her Bookstagram career with nothing but her wits, her love of books, and the Internet.

 

I found out about bookstagram through a bookish page on Facebook in January 2017, first I started following some Bookstagrammers, then I decided to create my own bookstagram account because I loved the idea of posting creative book photos and spreading the love of books.

I thought it is the best way to catch the attention of non-readers and make them read books, to make them fall in love with books. So I started posting my own book photos in February 2017.

 

Some of Mitra’s favorite books include The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak, Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff, the Ember series by Sabaa Tahir, and the Grishaverse books by Leigh Bardugo—it certainly shows in this awesome post:

 

 

A fun fact about Mitra is that she loves the smell of book pages and that creative ink!

I sniff books too much, even while reading I sometimes stop reading the book and just sniff it, I love the smell of books so much.

 

Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming

 

More often than not, we do judge books by their cover (especially since they’re becoming more and more pretty these days). But they can also inform us about our tastes and further develop our appreciation for books. Mitra’s favorite book cover is King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo.

 

 

So when should you keep an eye out for Mitra’s newest gorgeous photos?

I post daily and on evenings. Instagram allows us to check the statistics of our accounts and that shows us the time when most of our followers are online, so I post when most of my followers come online.

 

Chapter 3: TBR

Mitra already has so many great book recommendations. Every avid reader has a To Be Read list that they add to in the hopes of acquiring more favorites, and Mitra is no different. Her TBR list includes some of this year’s newest releases:

 

  • Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
  • Capturing the Devil by Jerri Maniscalo
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

We also asked Mitra if she could pick a publisher to supply her with a lifetime of books. Can you guess what she said?

I think I’d choose Simon and Schuster because they publish Cassandra Clare’s books so then I’ll get her books for free for a lifetime and I want to read every book she writes.

 

Chapter 4: What Does Bookstagram Mean To You?

 

There’s no doubt that Mitra’s love for books and Instagram style have an influence on the bookish community, and her photography skills are stunning. But what does Bookstagram mean to her personally?

 

It’s an important part of my life now, I feel at home here, to be able to freely discuss and share the love of books and characters without being judged by anyone for it surely feels like a haven to me. And it feels great when other people read the books I recommend. I try to create content that’s worth liking and reading. And that will influence my followers in a positive way. I just want more people to read books, and to learn positive things from the books they read. I just want to spread positivity and the love of books through my page.

 

Mitra has her own favorite Bookstagrammers too, including @xenatine, @bookish_mai, @_ckarys, @mkarys, @berrybookpages, and @bookwormgram.

 

 

Well, what did you think of @mitra_bookish_girl? You will love how interactive she is in her comments! Do you have a favorite Bookstagrammer in mind? Contact us through any of our social media platforms and maybe you will see them on here next week! 

 

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

Featured image by @mitra_bookish_girl