December 21, 2020 (Last Updated January 26, 2021)Marcy G.
With the year coming to a close, what’s better than unwinding with some fun facts about books?
Let’s dive into some fun facts!
You’re Such a Bookworm
The term “bookworm” originates from insects that live in and feed on the binding of books. Check your books for worms when you get home!
The Classic Smell of an Old Book
Much like 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”
The smell is produced by the breakdown of two chemical components in paper: cellulose and lignin. Over time, this smell becomes more pronounced because chemical compounds begin to break down, producing the aroma we know so well. Some writers refer to old book smell as “bibliosmia.”
You might suffer from what is called, “colygraphia,” a word used for writer’s block in the writing community. Suffering from colygraphia? We can help with some tips to combat it!
Let’s Talk Libraries
As of 2019, The Library of Congress has the largest catalogue, with 164 million items. Closely following is the British Library with 150 million. The Library of Congress, located in Washington D.C., serves as the research arm of Congress and is the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. If you’re planning on selling a book, you’ll need to apply for copyright.
Harry Potter Leaves Its Mark
The Harry Potter Series, written by J.K. Rowling, ranks as one of the most-read books, along with The Holy Bible and Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung. The last book in The Harry Potter Series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, broke an industry printing record, with the largest initial print run in history at 12 million copies.
The longest novel ever written is Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, containing an estimated 9,609,000 characters. 50 Lectures by Takaaki Yoshimoto is the world’s longest audiobook at almost 5 days long and the longest sentence ever printed is 823 words in Victor Hugo’s, Les Miserables.
Vladimir Nabokov and Gertrude Stein both liked to write while sitting in a parked car, while Truman Capote did most of his writing sprawled out on his couch or in his bed.
Before the keyboard was a writer’s go-to vehicle, John Steinbeck was known to use up to 60 pencils a day, using 300 total to write East of Eden.