The first crime in Antartica in almost 20 years occurred when a 54-year old engineer stabbed his co-worker over spoiling the endings of books he was reading.
“Long books, when read, are usually overpraised, because the reader wants to convince others and himself that he has not wasted his time.” E.M. FORSTER
In the late Middle Ages, books were so valuable that libraries would chain them to the bookcase. This was widely practiced until the 18th century.
Author Barbara Follet, who published her first book at 12, vanished under strange circumstances. Her disappearance eerily resembles the last paragraph in her final book. “She would be invisible forever to all mortals, save those few who have minds to believe, eyes to see, to these she is ever present, the spirit of Nature—a sprite of the meadow, a naiad of lakes, a nymph of the woods.”
Cambridge University Library has run out of room for its 9 million+ books and built a huge store to hold 4 million more. The first book they put in was Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
When Roald Dahl attended school, the nearby Cadbury chocolate factory would occasionally send boxes of new chocolates to the school to be tested by students. It is believed that this likely inspired him in writing his third children’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
In 1969 an experimental book named The Unfortunates was published. It shipped as a ‘book in a box’ consisting of 27 unbound sections with the first and last chapter specified. The remaining sections range from a single paragraph to 12 pages in length and are designed to be read in any order.
In 1895, UK prime minister William Gladstone founded a public library. Aged 85, he wheelbarrowed his personal collection of 32,000 books the ¾ mile between his home and the library. His desire, his daughter said, was to “bring together books who had no readers with readers who had no books”.
A writer was caught for a murder only after a detective read his book about a fictional murder which contained similarities and details to the real life murder that only the killer would know about. Authorities also learned he was also planning to commit another murder to write book about.
In the late 1700s and 1800s, there was widespread panic about the evils of book-reading, which was described as “an outrage on decency and common sense”. People were concerned that avid novel-readers were ‘addicted’ and were becoming anti-social.