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10 Fun Facts About Books

This post titled 10 Fun Facts About Books is here today for a few reasons. One, I found one of these facts in a book I just finished reading, and that gave me the barest hint of an idea for a post. Two, I completely was not ready with any other type of post and decided to look for facts about books that I will enjoy!! And then share them with you. And three, well these are fun facts!!!

10 Fun Facts About Books

Longest Book

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest novel ever is A la recherche du temps perdu by Marcel Proust. It contains an estimated 9,609,000 characters and nearly 1.3 million words!

Longest Book Title

I think many of my blog posts are shorter than the longest-ever book title, which consists of over 3,700 words 🙂

The book, written by Vityala Yethindra and released on 20 March 2019, has its title beginning with the words The Historical Development of the Heart… It continues on to a total of 26,021 characters!! It owes its length to all the different species the book mentions, as well as the list of over 50 different questions the book provides answers to. You can read the complete title here.

Longest Sentence in a Book (Excluding the title!)

I read in many places that the longest sentence ever printed is 823 words from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. But when I did another search for the longest sentence, I also saw James Joyce Ulysses top it, and then so many more instances, including and ending in the 2019 Booker prize shortlisted novel titled Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman. It consists of mostly a single sentence, running over more than 1000 pages (whew!)!!

So, which is the longest sentence in a book right now? Not too sure at all, but you can read some of those long sentences for yourself in this interesting article here.

Oldest Libraries

The oldest continually operating library in the world is the library at Saint Catherine’s Monastery located at the foot of the legendary Mount Sinai. And it has been operating since somewhere between 548 – 565 CE!!

And while this is certainly the oldest continually operating library, it is not the oldest. The al-Qarawiyyin Library is believed to be the oldest library in the world, first opened in 859 CE. It was closed for many decades in the recent past due to extensive damage (while staying open to scholars and students) and was reopened to the public in 2017.

Source: Oldest.org

The World’s First eBook

In 1971, Michael Hart digitized the U.S. Declaration of Independence. He shared it with others with the annotation that it was free to use and distribute, thus making it the first e book in the world and setting off Project Gutenberg in motion. This is available at Project Gutenberg. And you can see that it is numbered as ebooks/1!

On the other hand, if the definition of an ebook is something that can be viewed on a reader, then the oldest ebook could be one of many different ones, based on how we perceive a book to be an ebook! Read more about that here on wikipedia.

Countries and Reading

India reads the most, with a 10:42 hours spent reading per person per week (according to this survey that is kind of dated now as it is from 2005). You can check out the list here.

As for the number of books published, China leads that list, and you can get more details at this wikipedia article. And Estonians have the most number of books per household!

I found this website cool as well – Our World in Data – and this part is all about books!

First Ever Typewritten Book

According to many such lists, the first book ever written using a typewriter was Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. But typewriter historians say that the book was Mark Twain’s Life of the Mississippi. [virginia.edu]

Pulp-Fiction Road!

The M6 toll road in the United Kingdom was built on two-and-a-half million copies of pulped Mills & Boon romance novels; and M&B were the first romance novels I read (if you exclude the classics). I wonder, is this the road to true love??

No Need for Abibliophobia

If you have abibliophobia, then rest assured you can completely discard that fear. You can never run out of something to read. There were about 129,864,880 books published (according to a 2010 Google study). Considering it has been a decade since, and annual publishing estimates are over 750,000 new published books per year (source: MentalFloss), the number of books now is definitely closer to 140 million!

A Book That Can be Read Six Different Ways

I would love to attempt making such a book!!! Just for fun, at least two different ways maybe?? But this book does sound fascinating, doesn’t it? It is a 16th-century religious book that has a unique take on dos-à-dos (or back-to-back) binding, making it possible to open and read it in six different ways! You can look at the images of the book itself here.

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10 Fun Facts About Books

Would You Rather

Today’s WYR

Would you rather read a really long but beautiful sentence where you have to pay attention or many short sentences that are full of mistakes?

I definitely am partial to long sentences (as you might have noticed!!) so my answer is the first option in the WYR.

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, which of these facts was the most fun (or interesting) for you? Any other cool facts you want to share with me? Do let me know in the comments.

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8 thoughts on “10 Fun Facts About Books

  1. fun! I liked Oldest Libraries and Pulp(ed) Fiction facts. It’s a shame that more people aren’t reading, short attention spans a challenge, thus the shift from printed words to videos, and even short videos. I know I’m in the presence of a kindred spirit when someone shyly admits they like the smell of books! Is there a name for that?!

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