My name is Alin and welcome to my YouTube channel. Today you will get to know some of the most interesting facts about books and reading, so let’s do this!
1. The Most Banned Authors Around The World
Many authors and books have been banned for political and cultural reasons but there are a few authors who succeeded in being banned more than once and sometimes for different books. For example, Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary has been banned because it was considered an obscene novel, several books by DH Lawrence were banned for the same reason, like Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, The Prussian Officer and Other Stories, and last but not least Nabokov’s Lolita which is in the same category with the books of Flaubert and Lawrence. Besides these, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series were banned because they were considered ‘not suitable for children’ because of their depiction of witchcraft.
2. The Most Expensive Book in The World
At the moment, the most expensive book in the world is considered the Codex Leicester, which is the original notebook of Leonardo Da Vinci and contains the notes and sketches of the famous Renaissance artist. The book was acquired by Bill Gates in the early ’90s and the price he paid for it was around 30 million dollars.
3. The Longest Book Ever Written
In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust is considered the longest book ever and it comprises more than 9,600,000 characters. It’s the most important work written by Proust. In Search of Lost Time is a first-person narrative and it tells stories from the narrator’s childhood and adulthood in 19th and 20th century France and how he reflects on these moments.
4. Women like Reading More Than Men
Women buy more books than men. Period. There are statistics that have shown that women make up more than 60 per cent of the customers who purchase books every year. In contrast to women who buy every year 1 to 5 books, men don’t spend their money on books, one book a year is enough for them. Maybe that is the reason why Booktube is attracting more women than men.
5. The Longest Sentence in French Literature
This goes to another French writer, in this case, Victor Hugo. In Les Miserables, Hugo has written the longest sentence in literature which has more than 800 words. I will not read it to you because it will take a few minutes but I will add the text here:
“The son of a father to whom history will accord certain attenuating circumstances, but also as worthy of esteem as that father had been of blame; possessing all private virtues and many public virtues; careful of his health, of his fortune, of his person, of his affairs, knowing the value of a minute and not always the value of a year; sober, serene, peaceable, patient; a good man and a good prince; sleeping with his wife, and having in his palace lackeys charged with the duty of showing the conjugal bed to the bourgeois, an ostentation of the regular sleeping-apartment which had become useful after the former illegitimate displays of the elder branch; knowing all the languages of Europe, and, what is more rare, all the languages of all interests, and speaking them; an admirable representative of the “middle class,” but outstripping it, and in every way greater than it; possessing excellent sense, while appreciating the blood from which he had sprung, counting most of all on his intrinsic worth, and, on the question of his race, very particular, declaring himself Orleans and not Bourbon; thoroughly the first Prince of the Blood Royal while he was still only a Serene Highness, but a frank bourgeois from the day he became king; diffuse in public, concise in private; reputed, but not proved to be a miser; at bottom, one of those economists who are readily prodigal at their own fancy or duty; lettered, but not very sensitive to letters; a gentleman, but not a chevalier; simple, calm, and strong; adored by his family and his household; a fascinating talker, an undeceived statesman, inwardly cold, dominated by immediate interest, always governing at the shortest range, incapable of rancor and of gratitude, making use without mercy of superiority on mediocrity, clever in getting parliamentary majorities to put in the wrong those mysterious unanimities which mutter dully under thrones; unreserved, sometimes imprudent in his lack of reserve, but with marvellous address in that imprudence; fertile in expedients, in countenances, in masks; making France fear Europe and Europe France! Incontestably fond of his country, but preferring his family; assuming more domination than authority and more authority than dignity, a disposition which has this unfortunate property, that as it turns everything to success, it admits of ruse and does not absolutely repudiate baseness, but which has this valuable side, that it preserves politics from violent shocks, the state from fractures, and society from catastrophes; minute, correct, vigilant, attentive, sagacious, indefatigable; contradicting himself at times and giving himself the lie; bold against Austria at Ancona, obstinate against England in Spain, bombarding Antwerp, and paying off Pritchard; singing the Marseillaise with conviction, inaccessible to despondency, to lassitude, to the taste for the beautiful and the ideal, to daring generosity, to Utopia, to chimeras, to wrath, to vanity, to fear; possessing all the forms of personal intrepidity; a general at Valmy; a soldier at Jemappes; attacked eight times by regicides and always smiling; brave as a grenadier, courageous as a thinker; uneasy only in the face of the chances of a European shaking up, and unfitted for great political adventures; always ready to risk his life, never his work; disguising his will in influence, in order that he might be obeyed as an intelligence rather than as a king; endowed with observation and not with divination; not very attentive to minds, but knowing men, that is to say requiring to see in order to judge; prompt and penetrating good sense, practical wisdom, easy speech, prodigious memory; drawing incessantly on this memory, his only point of resemblance with Caesar, Alexander, and Napoleon; knowing deeds, facts, details, dates, proper names, ignorant of tendencies, passions, the diverse geniuses of the crowd, the interior aspirations, the hidden and obscure uprisings of souls, in a word, all that can be designated as the invisible currents of consciences; accepted by the surface, but little in accord with France lower down; extricating himself by dint of tact; governing too much and not enough; his own first minister; excellent at creating out of the pettiness of realities an obstacle to the immensity of ideas; mingling a genuine creative faculty of civilization, of order and organization, an indescribable spirit of proceedings and chicanery, the founder and lawyer of a dynasty; having something of Charlemagne and something of an attorney; in short, a lofty and original figure, a prince who understood how to create authority in spite of the uneasiness of France, and power in spite of the jealousy of Europe, — Louis Philippe will be classed among the eminent men of his century, and would be ranked among the most illustrious governors of history had he loved glory but a little, and if he had had the sentiment of what is great to the same degree as the feeling for what is useful.”
6. Producing Books
Did you know that a tree can produce 900 kilos / 2000 pounds of paper? This means that the amount of books that are made from one tree is around 50. The thing is that between 600000 and 1 million books are published each year only in the United States and this means a huge amount of trees are cut to make books. That is why I am a great supporter of e-books, I think they are more practical in the postmodern world.
7. Bookworms are Real
We’ve all heard the term bookworm and some of us might have been called bookworms but what is interesting is that bookworms are real. The thing is the books aren’t damaged by any species of worms but by insects that bore through books. So there you have it, ‘bookworm’ is the name given to any insect that eats book bindings.
8. Theodore Roosevelt Read One Book A Day
The 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, read one book a day. That is impressive, no? I am trying at the moment to read 4 books a month and I find it sometimes difficult to stick to my goal. Of course, we can play devil’s advocate and ask ourselves what kind of books he was reading and if he was reading one book a day, maybe that was a superficial reading. But we’re not going to do that and we will just look at the positive side.
9. Books Bound in Human Skin
A pretty dark fact about books is that there are several books around the world which are bound in human skin or what is called anthropodermic bibliopegy. There were different reasons why people were doing these types of things. On his deathbed, James Allen decided that one copy of the book, The Highwayman: Narrative of the Life of James Allen alias George Walton, should be bound in his skin and sent to his doctor and to a man who he tried to rob. In other cases, the skin of criminals was used for books and there are some writers who suggest that books of erotica might have been bound in human skin. In conclusion, books are not sacred things.
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2 thoughts on “9 Amazing Facts About Books and Reading That Will Impress your Friends”
I am a bookworm- lover of classics, fantasy, and mythology. After I finish one book, I want to read another. Not only am I a bookworm, but also am writing some
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That’s amazing! I am glad to hear that there are lots of people who are still reading books and writing.