Researchers Accidentally Discover That Rare Books Are Poisonous

Researchers Accidentally Discover That Rare Books Are Poisonous

Book Culture

Rare manuscripts can be fascinating to study, but when it turns out that the material of said manuscripts can be poisonous, well things can get a bit awkward. [Warning: Graphic photo below]   A Research Librarian and Professor of Physics at the University of Southern Denmark accidentally discovered that three rare books they were studying were in fact poisonous. In an article published by The Conversation, the duo described their surprising findings. While using X-ray technology to try to decipher the the text on the bindings of the 16th and 17th century manuscripts (older manuscripts used recycled parchment), the researchers found high …

The Author Who Holds the World Record for Most Publications Is Not Who You Think It Is

The Author Who Holds the World Record for Most Publications Is Not Who You Think It Is

Book Culture

The most published author of all time has officially been declared by The Guinness Book of World Records (and, surprisingly, it’s not the king of fiction himself, Stephen King) as none other than the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard.   Take a second to breathe that in; it’s shocking, alarming, and even a little unsettling, I know.    Over the past few years a plethora of Scientology documentaries have been released on HBO, Netflix, Amazon, hulu, and more, making L. Ron Hubbard a bit of a household name.    But, if you happen to be unfamiliar with Hubbard, or Scientology in general, here are some of the basic things you …

This Book of Wallpaper Samples Could Literally Kill You

This Book of Wallpaper Samples Could Literally Kill You

Book Culture

When I heard about a book titled Shadows from the Walls of Death, by Dr. Robert M. Kedzie, I was immediately intrigued. And then I started reading about it, and couldn’t help but cackle. The opening paragraph from 99% Invisible is so unintentionally hilarious that I can’t help but not share it with you:   In an era when two thirds of American residences were home to poisonous wallpapers, an awareness-raising book was published.  But the ominously titled Shadows from the Walls of Death did more than warn consumers of health risks — it collected and bound together actual samples of deadly arsenic-laden, …