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15 Fun and Fascinating Facts about Literature

By October 8, 2015Reading Habits

Books are brilliant, they teach us so many things we may not have otherwise learned. Sometimes however it is books themselves and the people who write them that are just as interesting.
Here are a few fun facts for your perusal.

Dr Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham after being challenged to write a book using fewer than fifty separate words!

Green Eggs and Ham US
Green Eggs and Ham UK

The first ever book written on a typewriter? Not a definite fact this one but something that is generally agreed upon, it’s Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer US
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer UK

The M6 Toll Road (A Motorway in England) was built upon 2.5 million pulped copies of Mills and Boon romance novels.

Sting wrote the song ‘Every Breath You Take’ at the same desk which Ian Fleming used to write his James Bond novels. It may have helped that the desk was situated in the ‘Fleming Villa’ at GoldenEye on the island of Jamaica

Casino Royale US
Casino Royale UK

The world’s most avid readers? Those from India spending an average of 10.7 hours each week reading.

Bilbo Baggins was born on September 22nd 1290.


Frank Baum named Oz after a filing cabinet that was kept in his office. One cabinet was labeled “A to N,” and the second was labeled “O to Z.”

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz US
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz UK

All the proceeds earned from James M. Barrie’s book Peter Pan were bequeathed to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for the Sick Children in London. I wonder if Disney has done the same?

Peter Pan US
Peter Pan UK

As a schoolboy, Roald Dahl was a taste-tester for Cadbury’s chocolate, I wonder if that was the inspiration for his Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? I wonder if Cadbury has Oompa Loompas?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory US
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory UK

The first book bought on Amazon was called Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought. A nice bit of light reading there.

Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies US
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies UK

The first public library in America was opened in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1698.

Murasaki Shikibu wrote the world’s first novel, The Tale of the Genji, in around 1008.

The Tale of the Genji US
The Tale of the Genji UK

The first book printed in English, in 1475, was The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye. by Englishman William Caxton.

The longest sentence (piece of work without a full stop) ever printed in a novel? It is a horrifyingly breath stealing 823 words long and is to be found in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.

Les Miserables US
Les Miserables UK

And finally the Top 3 most read books in the world are?

The Holy Bible, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung and Harry Potter.

Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung US
Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung UK

I had no idea of any of the above. It just goes to show you that fact is very often, stranger than fiction.

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One Comment

  • Noemi says:

    Péter Esterházy, Hungarian novelist, wrote a novel consisting of one single sentence. The title is Függő. (I don’t think it has been translated.) It’s 185 pages long. I’m pretty sure it’s longer than Hugo’s sentence.

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