Tag: book facts

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)




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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book covers

Infographic: Fun Facts Behind 18 Famous Book Covers

We’ve all been told never to judge a book by its cover but have we all listened? Probably not. At one point or another you’ve probably most definitely judged a book by its cover and who can blame you – it’s hard not to! Whether you’re perusing Barnes and Nobles (or an indie bookstore) or glancing at Amazon Books, chances are you’ve noticed a book based on its bright colors, large font, steamy couple on the cover, textured surface, and so on. That is what the artists and publishers behind a book want – they want you to notice it. I stumbled upon an infographic recently published by Invaluable which uncovers key points about the process of creating book covers and offers some awesome fun facts behind 18 famous book covers!


Here are some interesting tidbits and publishing secrets using 18 of the most famous book covers out there!




Source: Invaluable




Joan Didion

7 Crazy Facts About the Irreplaceable Joan Didion

Joan Didion is more than just an author; she’s an icon. She is an essayist, novelist, journalist, and everything in between. Didion is one of the most famous authors of all time. After the 1968 release of Slouching Towards Bethlehem, she gained a cult following of avid fans that has yet to cease.


And I, personally, am a part of that cult. I love Joan Didion with an intensity I could never begin to fully explain. From the moment I read On Self-Respect, she owned a part of my soul. I collect her essays like they’re going out-of-style (which they never will, obviously). She’s the writer I turn to whenever I feel my own writer’s block creeping in; she never fails to shake up my thoughts and make me see things differently.


Also, she’s taught me so much, and I don’t just mean in the emotional sense! She has taught me about water, about the Women’s Movement, all about the state of California (which I will be relocating to for the next six weeks in, like, four days and Didion has helped soothe my very anxious East Coast heart more than I could ever thank her for.), New York City, and so, so much more.


Joan Didion is above all else; she exists on a plane that is entirely her own. Her writing is bold, honest, dry, descriptive-yet-casual; she can make anything relatable, interesting, and easy to understand. She is the Queen of words. And, what better way to honor her ever-growing legacy than with some lesser-known facts about the wordsmith herself?


1. Didion is an insanely killer cook.


While everyone in the 1960’s was wasted out on hallucinogens and party favors, she spent her evenings cooking elaborate meals for dinner parties of thirty-to-forty guests.


Didion cooking

Via aftertastes


2. Nancy Reagan loathes her


After interviewing her for The Saturday Evening Post in 1968, Reagan was less-than-thrilled to find the piece dripping with Didion’s famed bluntness and ever-so-slightly-sarcastic edge, calling her a “bitch” and a “hack”. (Also, how angering is it to see someone refer to Queen Didion that way? Show some respect, Nancy!)


Nancy and Ronald Reagan

Image Via LGBTQ Nation


3. She told Vogue she spoke Middle English. 

In her application to Vogue in 1965, Didion wrote “middle English” when asked what languages she speaks. (Didion’s dry humor has been winning for decades.)


Joan Didion and John Dunne

Image Via James Howden


4. Warren Beatty was Didion’s not-so-secret admirer for years.


Apparently his love and constant come-ons to his close (and married) friend were a running joke amidst their inner circle.


Didion and friends

Image Via Interview Magazine


5. Harrison Ford was hired by Didion to help renovate her home in Malibu.


This was years before his own fame would erupt, and Ford has publicly spoken about how grateful he was to always be invited to Didion’s house parties, even when he was simply working as her carpenter. 

(Can you spot Harrison Ford back in his carpenter days?)


Harrison Ford as a carpenter

Image Via Gauchazh


6. A babysitter predicted her daughter’s death


In 1966, the babysitter Didion hired to watch over her daughter Quintana told her Quintana had an “aura of death surrounding her”. Quintana passed away on August 26, 2005 at the age of thirty-nine.


Didion and Quintana

Image Via The Cut


7. She freezes her manuscripts


Didion would put her manuscripts in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer whenever she had writer’s block. (Even Joan Didion struggles with writer’s block!)


Didion and Dunne reading

Image Via Vanity Fair


How lucky are we to be alive at the same time as this literal legend? Long live Joan Didion, huzzah! 





Featured Image via Scratchbook.net

Sarah J Maas in front of a green background, beside the book cover for A Court of Thorns and Roses

11 Facts About Sarah J. Maas for Maassive ‘Throne of Glass’ Fans

Sarah J. Maas is a New York Times best selling YA author with not only a movie adaptation, but also a TV series in the works. She’s currently working on a novel for DC, as well as the final installment of what will be her seventh book in her Throne of Glass series. The people. They love Sarah. So here are eleven fascinating facts about the beloved fantasy queen.


1. She’s a New Yorker.


Via Giphy

Via Giphy


Sarah J. Maas is a native of New York, but currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and their dog.


2. She studied Creative Writing.


Via Giphy

Via Giphy


In 2008, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College where she studied Creative Writing with a minor in Religious Studies.
4. Her Throne of Glass series is internationally adored.


Via Giphy

Via Giphy


The books are currently available in fifteen countries and twenty-three languages, with Maas is set to write seven books in the series.


5. Maas began writing the first book in the series when she was just sixteen-years-old.


Image Via Sarah J. Maas

Image Via Sarah J. Maas 


She published the first several chapters on FictionPress.com where it became one of the most popular stories on the site, however she later removed it when she decided to attempt to publish the book.


6. She’s a huge Harry Potter fangirl.


Image Via Sarah J. Maas

Image Via Sarah J. Maas 


Maas told Mashable, “I think of myself as a reader and fangirl first and then a writer. I grew up the biggest Harry Potter fangirl, so I remember what it’s like to wait for the books to come out, to be that into a book. I try to remember what it feels like to be on the other side of that table.”


7. She writes in a ‘Gollum cave.’


Via Tumblr

Via Tumblr


Maas told Mashable, “I write my books in this cocoon, this Gollum cave basically, and when they finally come out in the world I want my readers to love it as much as I do. I think every writer probably feels that way.”


8. She has written a novel about Catwoman.


Image Via Amazon

Image Via Amazon


As part of DC Icons, a new series in which is a new series in which YA writers take on classic superheroes, Maas wrote a book about Catwoman.  According to Mashable:

Catwoman: Soulstealer imagines Selina Kyle returning to Gotham City as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees, two years after she escaped the slums. Meanwhile, Gotham City is vulnerable with Batman off on a vital mission, and Luke Fox wants to prove that as Batwing he has what it takes to help people. Selina’s left to balance a threat from her past, her growing connection to Luke, and the heist she still hopes to pull off.


9. Her books have gotten so popular that people have begun naming their children after her characters!


Via Tenor

Via Tenor


“People have named their babies after my characters! Aelin, Celaena, Nehemia, Elentiya. No boy names yet. I’m holding out for a Manon, like Manon Blackbeak, but I don’t think anyone is going to name their sweet innocent baby after a hundred-year-old witch.”


10. Her character-naming process is intense but often a little nonsensical.


Via Giphy

Via Giphy


“I’m pretty sure Tolkien thrashes in his grave at least once a day over my fantasy naming methods. I’ll go on baby name websites and I’ll have a vague idea of the culture I want it to sound like, like an Ancient Greece or Persian type name, so I’ll go and look up huge charts until something connects in my brain… I don’t even know where Galathynius came from. Again, I started writing this when I was so young, some of the creation process early on was completely lost in the black hole of my mind … [Or] I’ll do little inside jokes like… Dorian Havilliard. In earlier drafts it was De Havillard, which I think came about because I liked Olivia De Havilland. I‘m a huge Gone with the Wind fan and I liked the way her name looked, so I just swapped the n for an r. This is my really creative process.”


11. She was genuinely upset when, on her sixteenth birthday, no fantastical creature appeared to tell her she was magic too.


Via Giphy

Via Giphy


“On my 16th birthday I was really actually depressed because no magical cat showed up to say ‘you’re actually the moon princess’ or ‘you’re a secret witch, and all these real things you felt your whole life, they’re true.’ I was literally depressed the whole day because I wasn’t magical and special. So now I write about magical and special girls.”


Featured Image Via BookBub

Matilda Roald Dahl reading bookworm

14 Facts about Books and Reading for the Fanatical Bookworm

So, we all know reading is the greatest hobby there is. It allows you to escape into other lives, worlds, and galaxies, but it also allows you to learn new ideas, facts, and ways of interpreting and understanding the world around you. Not to mention it allows you to touch, smell, hold, rub your face on the beautiful, fragrant capsules of wonder known as books.


Reading has been proven time and time again to make you happier and more empathetic, to make you smarter, even to deter diseases like Alzheimers in some cases. Here are fourteen facts that will allow you to further justify the “sick day” (read: reading day) that you just might take tomorrow.


Via Tumblr

Via Tumblr 

1. There are over 130 million books in print.


2. The word for loving the smell of old books is ‘Bibliosmia’. Similar to carbon-dating, scientists can analyze the chemicals responsible for “old book smell” to determine the age of a book.  The process is called “material degradomics”.


3. The three most read books in the world are The Holy BibleQuotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, and Harry Potter.


4. Nevada, Texas, and Mississippi have the highest ratio of customers to bookstores in the United States. 


5. Dr Seuss invented the word ‘nerd’, using it in his 1950 book ‘If I Ran the Zoo.’ 


6. 68% of books sold worldwide are bought by women.


7.  The term ‘bookworm’ originates from insects who live in and feed on the binding of books.



Via Tumblr

Via Tumblr 


8. The most expensive book in the world is the 1640 Bay Psalm, which sold for $14.2 million. 


9. The largest book in the world is The Klencke Atlas, which measures 1.75 meters tall, and 1.90 meters wide when open. 


10. Fools Of Nature by Alice Brown was the first book to be described as a ‘bestseller,’ in 1889.


11. 1453 saw the first ever book published: the Gutenberg Bible. It was printed by the inventor of the printing press, Johannes Gutenberg. 


12. Longest novel ever written is Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, containing an estimated 9,609,000 characters.


13. Tsundoku means “to let reading materials pile up in one’s home and never read them” in Japanese. 


14. Charles Dickens owned a bookcase which functioned as a secret door in his house, and was populated with fake books bearing amusing names including Jonah’s Account of the Whale, The Lives of a Cat which came in nine volumes, and The Art of Cutting Teeth. 


Via Blogspot

Via Blogspot


Featured Image Via Bustle.