Wednesday, December 13

All About Books

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The Origin

The origin of the Latin word for book, liber, comes from the Romans who used the thin layer found between the bark and the wood (the liber) before the times of parchment. The English word comes from the Danish word for book, bog, meaning birch tree, as the early people of Denmark wrote on birch bark.

The Largest Published Book

The record for the largest published book is one edition of ‘The Little Prince’ measuring 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) high and 3.08 m (10 ft 1 in) wide when open, and containing 128 pages. It is edited by Eidouro Gráfica e Editora Ltda.(Brazil) and it was presented at the XIII Biannual Book Fair of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 13 September 2007.

Thickest Book Published

The thickest published book measures 322 mm (12.67 in) in width and was unveiled by HarperCollins in London, UK, on 20 May 2009. All Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories – 12 novels and 20 short stories – are collected and published in this volume.  

Smallest Book Printed

The smallest ever printed book measures 0.9 x 0.9 mm and is an edition of ‘Chameleon’ by the Russian author Anton Chekhov. The book was made and published by Anatoliy Konenko, of Omsk, Siberia, Russia in 1996. Each book consists of 30 pages, has three colour illustrations and 11 lines of text to a page.  

Most Expensive Book

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex Leicester – $30.8 million. The Codex Leicester is a collection of largely scientific writings by Leonardo da Vinci. The Codex was purchased in 1980 by wealthy industrialist, art collector, and philanthropist Armand Hammer from the Leicester estate, and renamed the “Codex Hammer”. In 1994 Bill Gates bought it at auction for $30.8 million, making it the most expensive book ever, and renamed it the Codex Leicester.

Most Translated Book

The Bible continues to be the most translated book in the world. The following numbers are approximations. As of 2005, at least one book of the Bible has been translated into 2,400 of the 6,900 languages listed by SIL, including 680 languages in Africa, followed by 590 in Asia, 420 in Oceania, 420 in Latin America and the Caribbean, 210 in Europe, and 75 in North America. The United Bible Societies are presently assisting in over 600 Bible translation projects. The Bible is available in whole or in part to some 98 percent of the world’s population in a language in which they are fluent.

Fun Facts 

There are more than 20,000 books written about the Chess.

If you stretched out all the shelves in the New York Public Library, they would extend eighty miles. The books most often requested at this library are about drugs, witchcraft, astrology and Shakespeare.  

In 1939 an author named Ernest Vincent wrote a 50,000 word novel called Gadsby. The only thing unusual about the novel is that there is not a single letter ‘e’ in the whole thing. 

There are 72,466,926 books in the Library of Congress on 327 miles of bookshelves.  

The first published book ever written on a typewriter was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Mark Twain used a Remington in 1875. 

It took Noah Webster 36 years to write his first dictionary.

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