October is here and with the changing season, many of our thoughts turn to fall leaves, pumpkin-spiced lattes and well… anything and everything pumpkin-spiced. But did you know it is National Book Month? You might have guessed from the title, we’ve got 20 fun facts about books to spice up your reading.
Managed by the National Book Month group online, they aim to bring the importance of reading and writing to everyone’s mind all year round. From the National Book Month website:
The month-long celebration focuses on the importance of reading, writing and literature. National Book Month is also a time to honor the country’s best books and authors.
Fun Facts for national book month!
- We all know the smell of old books is glorious, but there’s some interesting science behind it too! Over time, the gradual breakdown of the cellulose and lignin in the paper leads to the production of large amounts of various organic compounds. The odor these compounds produce varies depending on where the book was printed, the paper and ink types, and how long the book has been degrading.
- The Alnarp Library in Sweden has a 217-volume collection of wooden books called The Tree Library. Each book describes a specific tree—its binding is bark, moss, and lichens found on that species and the book interiors hold more natural surprises. They made books in Germany during the 19th century.
- Of Mice and Men was originally titled Something That Happened.
- Abibliophobia – the fear of running out of reading material.
- The Neverending Story not only ends but is estimated to be only around 96,000 words. It was also written by Michael Ende.
- William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury includes a 600-word section that has no punctuation!
- Avid reading over the course of a lifetime may reduce the rate of memory decline by as much as 32%.
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is the first book written with a typewriter.
- The Harvard University library has four law books bound in human skin.
- The name Wendy was made up for the book Peter Pan. There was never a recorded Wendy before.
10 More Fun Facts? Why Not!
- People in Iceland read more books per capita than any other country in the world.
- Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in six weeks.
- Teeny Ted from Turnip Town is the world’s smallest book.
- The largest bound book in the world is The Klencke Atlas. A 1.75-meter tall by 1.9-meter-wide tome that is so heavy six people are necessary to lift it. They presented it as a gift to Charles II of England by Johannes Klencke in 1660. The atlas contains 37 printed wall maps.
- Ernest Hemingway survived anthrax, malaria, pneumonia, dysentery, skin cancer, hepatitis, anemia, diabetes, high blood pressure, two plane crashes, a ruptured kidney, a ruptured spleen, a ruptured liver, a crushed vertebra, a fractured skull, and more. He ultimately died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
- 33% of high school graduates in the U.S. never read another book for the rest of their lives.
- The Harry Potter books are the most banned books in America.
- J.R.R. Tolkien typed the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy with two fingers.
- J.M. Barrie gave the rights of Peter Pan to the Children’s Hospital on Great Ormond Street, London so they could always collect royalties and fund the hospital.
- It is rumored that Teddy Roosevelt read, on average, one book a day even when juggling the responsibilities of his presidential office.