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The 1939 Novel Gadsby Does Not Use Any Words Beginning With The Letter E In The Entire Novel

National Book Lovers Day on August 9th harnesses all the excitement bibliophiles feel about books into one celebration.

  • Bibliophile – a person who has a great appreciation for or collects books.
  • Bibliophobia is the fear of books, which can include reading a certain kind of book, reading out loud in public, or even just holding a book.
  • The very first books used parchment or vellum (calf-skin) for the book pages.
  • The book covers were made of wood and often covered with leather.
  • Clasps or straps kept the books closed.
  • Public libraries appeared in the Middle Ages.
  • Public libraries often chained the books to a shelf or a desk to prevent theft.
  • If you read regularly, you’re two and a half times less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • If you’re a fiction lover, you’re more likely be empathetic to others.
  • Reading has been found to reduce stress up to 68%, outranking even listening to music (which came in at 61%).
  • A study has also found that reading at least 30 minutes a day can increase your lifespan.
  • Along with several recent developments, book manufacturers use digital printing. Book pages are printed using toner rather than ink. As a result of digital printing, print-on-demand opens up a whole new realm of publishing. In this case, distributors don’t print the books until the customer places the order.
  • More and more, people read E-books. E-book (electronic book) refers to a book-length publication in digital form. They are usually available through the internet. However, they can also be found on CD-ROM and other systems. Read an E-book on a computer or via a portable book display device known as an e-book reader, such as a Reader, Nook or Kindle.
  • The biggest.  The world’s biggest book is actually a series of 729 marble tablets in a Buddhist temple in Mandalay, Myanmar—the Kuthodaw Pagoda. The tablets, which took eight years to create, make up the whole of Theravada Buddhism’s religious canon. They were made in the mid-1800s and stand more than five feet tall.
  • The most banned.  In 2017, according to the American Library Association, “Thirteen Reasons Why,” by Jay Asher, was the No. 1 most challenged and banned book. A New York Times bestseller, the book was banned in some schools because it discusses suicide.
  • The Harry Potter books have the distinction of being the most banned and challenged book series in the U.S. in this century—No. 1 from 2000 to 2009. Challengers took issue with portrayals of witches and wizards.
  • Mark Twain’s novel “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” was the first novel to have ever been written on a typewriter, according to some. Others dispute that claim and say “Life on the Mississippi,” another Twin novel, is more likely the first. Regardless, Twain, whose real name was Samuel Clemens, was the first to submit a typewritten novel. Both came out in the late 1880s.
  • The first-ever “Harry Potter” was a short story published in communist Poland in 1972.  The boy who lived has, in fact, lived ever since 19 March 1972, when literary magazine Życie Literackie published a short story titled “Harry Potter”. The author – Jan Rostworowski – was a Polish writer and poet who, as a soldier of the Polish Army, spent twenty-eight years in Great Britain. Source
  • In the Harvard Library, there are three books suspected to be bound in human skin.  One of Harvard Library’s books, Des destinées de l’ame, is 99.9% certain to have been bound in human skin. It has been sitting in Harvard’s Houghton Library since the 1930s.  The practice of binding books in human skin was not at all uncommon in the 15th century and was done to commemorate the dead, among other reasons.  ⇢ MORE INFO
  • A monastery in Egypt is home to the oldest continually operating library in the world, established in AD 565.  The library at Saint Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai is the oldest currently operating in the world, and has the second largest collection of ancient manuscripts and codices, just after Vatican City.  More info
  • Warsaw is the city with the biggest number of libraries per capita – with a whopping 11.5 libraries per 100,000 citizens.
  • Portuguese bookshop Bertrand Chiado is officially the oldest operating bookshop in the world, founded in 1732.
  • Dorothy Straight wrote her book How the World Began when she was 4 years and 3 months old, making her the youngest person in the world to write a published book. ⇢ MORE INFO
  • James Patterson, the author of Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club series, was the first-ever writer to exceed one million sales in ebooks. ⇢ MORE INFO
  • The first ebook in the world is The Declaration of Independence, released in 1971. ⇢ MORE INFO
  • Former American President Theodore Roosevelt read at least one book per day. ⇢ MORE INFO
  • The titular raven in Edgar Allan Poe’s Gothic classic was initially supposed to be… a parrot. ⇢ MORE INFO
  • John Steinbeck’s dog ate the original manuscript for Of Mice and Men. ⇢ MORE INFO
  • Dan Brown finds hanging upside down the ultimate cure for writer’s block. ⇢ MORE INFO
  • Truman Capote considered himself a “completely horizontal author” because he couldn’t think and write unless he was lying down. ⇢ MORE INFO
  • There are “human libraries” around the world where you can check-out humans as a living book and listen to their unique life stories. ⇢ MORE INFO
  • A German 16th-century religious book can be read in six different ways because of how it’s bound. ⇢ MORE INFO
  • According to Google, as of 2010, there were roughly 130 million books in print throughout the world. While counting the exact number is virtually impossible, the estimate was generated through an advanced Google algorithm that analyzed more than 150 pieces of metadata relating to the world’s books, and by discarding anything that was a duplicate or not by definition, a book.
  • In September 2017, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints purchased the printer’s manuscript of The Book of Mormon. The book is a handwritten copy of the original dictated manuscript and reportedly sold for a record-setting $35 million.
  • The top ten bestselling novels of all time have sold a combined total of just over 1.56 billion copies. Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code comes in at number 10 with 80 million sold, and the classic novel Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes is number one with 500 million copies sold.
  • Book nerds are known for loving the smell of old books, and believe it or not, there is a word for it. Bibliosmia means the act of smelling books, and to some, it is as aromatic as perfume.
  • The Dr. Seuss classic Green Eggs and Ham was written as a bet. Seuss bet his publisher $50 that he could write a book in 50 words or less. The book contains exactly 50 words.
  • Ray Bradbury’s famous dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 was originally called Fireman. The title was thought to be too boring, and Bradbury consulted with a local fire station to find out the temperature at which paper would burn. The fireman had Bradbury wait while they burned a book, and then let him know that it burned at 451 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • There are a number of commonly used phrases from literature that are actually misquotes or never appeared in the book at all. The line “Me Tarzan, You Jane” never appeared in any of the Tarzan books, and was likely lifted from the 1932 movie Tarzan The Ape Man. Another surprising misquote is Sherlock Holmes’ catchphrase “Elementary, my dear Watson.” The phrase never appears in any of the Sherlock Holmes stories and is first used by P.G. Wodehouse in the novel Psmith, Journalist.
  • The 1939 novel Gadsby by Ernest Vincent Wright does not use any words beginning with the letter E in the entire novel. The book was written as a lipogram, which is a kind of writing or word game in which the author deliberately excludes a common letter of the alphabet. While some letters are easier to avoid than others, E, T, and A are the most challenging to ignore.
  • In the early 20th century, a man by the name of Edward Stratemeyer revolutionized the way children’s books were published. He established the Stratemeyer Syndicate, which worked on the principle of having ghostwriters produce stories in a short period of time that the syndicate would sell to publishers. Among his most popular series were Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, both of which were written under the names Carolyn Keene and Franklin W. Dixon, respectively.
  • Victor Hugo is credited with writing the longest sentence in his novel, Les Miserables. At 823 words.


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