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Did You Know? 20 fun facts about Books

By now you all already know about my love for books and reading. Snuggling in the bed with a book in my hand or being alone and reading a good book with a cup of coffee is some thing I love. 

With books, one can drift away in to an unknown world with unknown people as they narrate their story to you. Reading has so much to offer in the form of novels, short stories or poems. It’s a whole new world, which is more fascinating and enchanting than one thinks. 

Since I love books so much, this time I thought to write about some interesting and rather lesser known facts about them.  So read on…

Most Expensive book: How much could a book cost? Or which is the most expensive book that you have got? Now hear this, Bill Gates paid a whooping $30.8 million in 1994 for “Codex Leicester” by Leonardo Da Vinci. Now just add the current market value and inflation to it…Do you wish to buy this book? 

Most expensive book.
Image taken from: Google

Longest Sentence: How long can one sentence be? Any guesses? Victor Hugo in his book “Les Miserables” wrote a sentence which was 823 words long. I managed to get my hands on a version of that sentence which is again 805 words long. Read it here.

Book with the longest sentence. Image taken from Google.

Road made out of Book Pulp: We travel with books, we all have heard that, but what about travelling over the books.The M6 toll road in Birmingham, UK is a 26 mile long six lane motorway and it took 2.5 million copies of Mills & Boon novel which was pulped and later used as the top layer of the motorway. 

Image taken from Google

Anthropodermic bibliopegy: This term is used for books bound in Human Skin. Yes you read that right. Harvard University Library has confirmed that it has “Des destinées de l’ame” (Destinies of The Soul), which was published sometime in the 1880s, is 99.9% bound in human skin. This act of binding books in Human skin was common in 15thcentury and was done to memorialize the dead.  Know More

Book made out of human skin. if you look closely you can see the pores too. Image taken from Google.

Most Read Books in the world: Bible has outnumbered every other book and sold 3.9 billion copies followed by “Quotations from the Works of Mao Tse- Tung” also know as “The Little Red Book” which sold 820 million copies while Harry Potter books sold 400 million copies. (Data Dated 2012).  

Image taken from Google

Longest Book title: Vityala Yethindra of India in 2019 wrote a book with a title which has 3777 words to it. The title goes as such “The historical development of the Heart…………..” as the author decided to mention all the species mentioned in the book. Read More

Book with the longest title. Image taken from Google.

Highest Fine Paid: Emily Canellos- Simms paid a fine of $345 to Kewanee Public Library in Illinois for a book, which was due in April 1955 and returned after Emily found it at her mother’s house. Read More

Emily Capellos with the book. Image taken from Google.

Youngest Author: Dorothy Straight was only 4 years and 3 months old when she published her book “How the world began” in 1964. This book was written in her response to her mom’s question “Who made the world?” and her parents loved the book so much that they got it published. Photo Credit

Dorothy Straight.
Image taken from Google

Kindle Sales: the 1st ever Kindle which cost $399 was sold out within 5 ½ hrs and the 2nd lot for sales was available after a waiting period of 5 months of its release in Nov 2007. Read More

Image taken from Google.

One book a day: Former American President Theodore Roosevelt  was a bibliophile and how. He read 1 book a day even while he was a President. Now that’s a lot of reading done in a day. How did he even manage the time. Or rather, did he even sleep?  Read More

Former President of America- Theodore Roosevelt. Image taken from Google.

Indian’s read the most: This made me really happy. As per the 2005 BOP world Culture Score Index, an average Indian reads for 10.7 hours every week. Thailand and China come after India while Americans read half as much as Indians with just 5 hours  a week. Read More

Image taken from Google

Banned Books: Will you believe if I said that the most banned book in USA has been “Harry Potter”? Yes, you read that right. This fantasy novel has been banned in most parts of America, citing the reason that the book encourages witchcraft, wizardry and other religious complaints. Read More

Image taken from Google

LOTR was typed with just 2 fingers: Writing a triology which has nearly 1200 pages can be tough but what is more interesting is that the author of “Lord of The Rings“, J.R.R. Tolkein typed the entire trilogy with just two fingers.

Author J.R.R. Tolkein

Library of Alexandira: Ancient Library of Alexandria, in Egypt, had a rule that any boat which came to the port, had to submit any book that it had to the library and the library would return a copy of the same book to its owner. Before the library was engulfed with fire, it had a collection of over 400,000 scrolls of texts. Read More

Present-day ruins of the Serapeum of Alexandria, where the Library of Alexandria moved part of its collection after it ran out of storage space in the main building. Image taken from Wikipedia

Charles Dickens Fake book case: The famous author of Oliver Twist and Tale of two cities had a book case at his home which showcased fake books with some really unique and witty names. This bookcase worked as a secret door and the names of these book were chosen by Dickens himself.

Charles Dickens.
Image taken from Wikipedia.

Largest published book: One edition of “The Little Prince” published by Eidouro Publicações, Brazil, holds the record of being the largest published book measuring 6.7ft in height 10.1ft wide when open and has 128 pages. The book was showcased in the 2007 “XIII Biannual Book Fair” of Rio de Janeiro. Read More

The Little Prince
Image from Google.

World’s smallest published book: “Teeny Ted from Turnip Town” is the world’s tiniest book to be published and requires a magnifying glass to read it. It measures at 70 micrometers X 100 micrometers and cost $15000 to be printed on pure crystalline silicone. Read More

Teeny Ted from Turnip Town- Worlds tiniest book. Image taken from Google.

Human Library: We all know that books tell us some amazing stories but in Copenhagen, Denmark, the term “I am an open book” gets as whole new meaning with the “Human Library” wherein one can borrow people for a certain amount of time and these volunteered human books share their unique life stories with you. Read More

Image taken from Google

Story Vending Machine: In Canary Wharf, UK, a busy financial area, you can see people reading out of scroll paper printed from a vending machine. This machine is designed to print out small stories for it’s readers by the click of a button. Read More

Short story dispensing booth.
Image from Google.

Worlds fastest Reader: An average person can read around 250 to 300 words in a minute with nearly 70% comprehension but Maria Teresa of Philippines can read half a book by the time you finish to read a label of a shampoo bottle. She read a 3-page long college level essay of 3135 words in just 3.5 seconds. Read More

Maria Teresa at age 16.

Reading is a part of everyone’s life, be it in the form of book, Instagram, Facebook, newspaper, food stickers or even e-mails. You are always skimming, scrolling or swiping through something or the other. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed compiling this list. It’s fascinating how a book has so much to say beyond its story. A story behind a storybook. 

With this post, i am taking my blog to next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa and you will find my post under the hashtag of #mummatalkswrites on all social media platforms.

28 replies on “Did You Know? 20 fun facts about Books”

Its really good to know that we Indians are top on table. Thanks for sharing some mind blowing facts about books.

wow..this post shows your love for books Hansa. I would like to check Who Made The World. Thanks for these interesting facts about books.

I really love this series of yours. So much to learn and know about the world of reading. That longest sentence link isn’t opening. I was curious about that one too. I like that story vending machine and glad we got all the Harry potter’s original series… Especially now that the kids are interested in knowing about HP.

Ama zing compilation of little known facts. The human library just caught my fancy..Wish we had something like that in India. And we Indians read a lot, don’t we ? 🙂 At least we do something right

Wow I have to say you had nailed it this series. With each post you come up with some amazing info about books. This post was again a great read. I had a great time reading different fun facts about the books.

Wow-what an interesting facts about the book world. I love reading books but definitely not an avid one. I have read so many fictions by Mills and Boons, this pulp story of the motorway is surprising to know. Brilliant post.

Wow, reading al the information gives me a feel , how humans and books have always been friends. Dickens having fake books and the vending machine with short stories is the need of the hour in the busy world.

Some fun and interesting book facts indeed! An 823 word sentence seems unimaginable and one needs to be a true genius to even achieve that. The Library of Alexandria has always intrigued me.

Your posts are always so interesting to read. These are some truly fun facts about books and I must confess that I was only aware of 2 out of these. Just loved it, sharing it with my friends too.

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