A book a day was a habit for which of our presidents? Are there any libraries that are more than a thousand years old? Which country has the most readers? This, and many other fascinating tidbits, are certain to shock you. We read a lot of little pieces of writing every day without even noticing it, from news articles to Instagram captions to work emails and text messages.
As of this writing, most of us are likely to have browsed through our co-workers’ long emails or hastily scrolled through lists like this one, or followed a 10-tweet long, spicy Twitter feud amongst our friends. But have you read anything today?
Reading a book, not just skimming it, scrolling through it, or swiping through it?
A growing number of people are turning to “no-strings-attached” reading as a way to fill their spare time, rather than slogging through a lengthy novel that requires a lot of time and attention.
If you’re searching for something quick to read, consider short stories. The world of books is considerably more interesting than you might imagine.You’ll find a slew of interesting tidbits in this list that are sure to make you rethink your love for books. Sharing them with others and promoting reading is made more easier with the addition of illustrations.
The first-ever “Harry Potter” was a short story published in communist Poland in 1972.
Since the publication of “Harry Potter” in the literary magazine ycie Literackie on March 19, 1972, the boy who lived has been alive. The author, Jan Rostworowski, was a Polish poet and writer who spent 28 years in Great Britain as a soldier in the Polish Army.
In Rostworowski’s novel, Harry Potter’s life is shown as a 17-year-old muggle, rather than the wizard that bears the same name. The truth is that he works as a shopkeeper, delivering Cracovian sausages and pickles to customers. When all is said and done, he just vanishes. Photo credit. More information.
In the Harvard Library, there are three books suspected to be bound in human skin.
Human skin is 99.9 percent guaranteed to have been used in the binding of one of the Harvard Library’s books, Desdestinées de l’ame. Since the 1930s, it has been housed in Harvard’s Houghton Library.
Among other reasons, the 15th century saw the binding of books in human flesh as an extremely prevalent technique. For more information.
According to the Guinness World Records, the largest book in the world weighs over 3,000 lb and measures 16.40 ft x 26.44 ft.
‘This the Prophet Mohamed,’ an anthology of stories celebrating the lifetime accomplishments of Islam’s prophet, was unveiled on February 27 in Dubai, UAE by the Mshahed International Group. The manuscript was put together by a team of more than 50 persons. More information is available at the following link.
The largest book ever published – “The Little Prince” – is almost 7 feet high and 10 feet wide.
An Ediouro Publicaçes version of “The Little Prince” holds the record for the most copies sold. As of September 13, 2007, “The Little Prince” has a height of 2.01 m (6.6 ft) and is a width of 3.08 m (10.1 ft). It has 128 pages. Photo credit. More information.
The first bookmobile in the world was launched in 1857. It was a horse-drawn wagon created to “diffuse good literature among the rural population.”
In the early 19th century, philanthropist George Moore launched the first ever bookmobile in Great Britain. Between eight communities in Cumbria County, England’s northwesternmost region, the horse-drawn wagon delivered books from shelves erected outside. More information is available at the following link.
The longest-ever book title consists of over 3,700 words.
26,000 characters make up the title of Vityala Yethindra’s The Historical Development of the Heart…, which was released in March 2019.
For the most part, the length of the title comes from the author’s decision to include not just all of the species discussed in the book, but also more than 50 different questions that the book addresses. More information is available at the following link.
This monastery in Egypt is home to the oldest continually operating library in the world, established in AD 565.
It is only after the Vatican Library’s collection of ancient manuscripts and codices that Saint Catherine’s Monastery’s library at Mount Sinai’s foot is the oldest continuously operating library in the world.
The Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest known complete Bible, was held in the library until 1859. Photo credit. More information.
Warsaw is the city with the biggest number of libraries per capita – with a whopping 11.5 libraries per 100,000 citizens.
Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is a bookworm’s paradise. There are an average of 11 libraries per 100,000 residents in Seoul, and 10 in Brussels. Tokyo lent an average of 111.9 million books in a single year, making it the city with the highest volume. More information is available at the following link.
The word library comes from Latin liber – the inner bark of trees – and was first used in written form in the 14th century.
“Book hoards” (from Old English bchord) were what we now call libraries or collections of books in Old English – the earliest historical version of the English language that was spoken in the early Middle Ages. More information is available at the following link.
The world’s largest fine for an overdue library book stands at $345.14, the amount owed at two cents a day.
When Emily Canellos-Simms checked out Days and Deeds in April 1955, she was due to return it on April 19th. After discovering the book 47 years later at her mother’s house, Emily returned it to the library with an overdue fine of $345. More information is available at the following link.
Portuguese Library Biblioteca Joanina is home to a swarm of bats that feed on book-eating insects every night.
This majestic ancient library in Portugal has a pretty unusual cleaning crew: Bats are responsible for keeping the place pest free. At night, the bats feast on book-eating insects, preserving the 300-year-old building and its rich cultural history. During the day, the bats hide behind the rococo bookcases.
Human bookworms, on the other hand, are safe. Photo credit. More information.
Morioka Shoten Ginza, a unique bookstore in Tokyo, offers only one book every week and organizes events to discuss it every evening.
Yoshiyuki Morioka came up with the idea of a “single room with a single book” in order to increase the emphasis on a single book. That, according to Morioka, would make a reader’s relationship with a book much more intimate, and so increase their enjoyment of reading.
A single book is being sold at Morioka’s bookstore for six consecutive days, and the business encourages customers to participate in group discussions with the author in order to further connect them with the work. More information is available at the following link.
Portuguese bookshop Bertrand Chiado is officially the oldest operating bookshop in the world, founded in 1732.
Since its inception, Bertrand has grown into a network of 52 shops across Portugal, frequented by notable authors such as Alexandre Herculano, Fernando Pesoa, Eca de Queiros, and Aquilino Ribeiro. Due to Aquilino’s high frequency of attendance, a room named “Corner of Aquilino” was set aside for him. More information is available at the following link.
The longest novel ever written is À la recherche du temps perdu by Marcel Proust, first published in 1912. It has an estimated 1,267,069 words.
The 13-volume-long classic, also known as Remembrance of Things Past or In Search of Lost Time, was published in France in the 20th century. In total, it has approximately 4,215 pages and has approximately 9,609,000 characters, spaces included. For an average reader who reads at 300 words per minute, this novel would take at least 70 hours to complete. More information is available at the following link.
Dorothy Straight wrote her book How the World Began when she was 4 years and 3 months old, making her the youngest person in the world to write a published book.
When Dorothy’s mother asked her, “Who formed the world?” she wrote a book in one night, and her parents loved it so much they sent it to Pantheon Books for publication. It came out two years after that. Photo credit. More information.
Written in AD 123, Chariton’s Chaereas & Callirhoe is the oldest existing novel in the world.
This ancient Greek prose romance tells the story of a newlywed couple whose relationship is tested when Callirhoe’s former suitors hatch a conspiracy to break up the couple’s relationship. More information is available at the following link.
James Patterson, the author of Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club series, was the first-ever writer to exceed one million sales in ebooks.
In July of that year, James Patterson’s book sales surpassed the one million mark. When Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy hit one million digital copies sold, Amazon announced that Patterson’s competition had also made it into the Kindle Million Club, making him the first person to sell more than one million paid Kindle books. More information is available at the following link.
The first generation Kindle, released on 19 November 2007, was sold out in only 5 1/2 hours.
The initial Kindle priced $399 and was out of stock for five months before it was finally restocked at the end of April 2008. With its 250 MB of internal storage, it could contain around two hundred non-illustrated titles at a time. A speaker and a headphone jack allowed users to listen to audio files on the go. More information is available at the following link.