The World of Books: 35 Surprising Facts

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1100 Authors Against Einstein

100 Authors Against Einstein

When Einstein was told of the publication of a book entitled, '100 Authors Against Einstein', he replied: "Why one hundred? If I were wrong, one would have been enough."

2. In the original Little Mermaid novel, the mermaid's legs constantly feel as if she is walking on sharp knives. The prince likes to watch her dance, which she does for him, despite excruciating pain. Then he marries someone else and the mermaid kills herself.

3. Up until the 1960's, black Americans with cars could purchase a "Green Book" that would tell them which towns across America had colored facilities, which towns didn't accept black people out after dark, and which places to avoid visiting if they wanted to survive their trip.

4. Stephen King originally tossed his manuscript for "Carrie" while living in a trailer home with his wife, claiming that it was a "loser". His wife, Tabitha, upon finding it in the garbage and reading it, convinced him to finish it and send it in. It's the novel that made him famous.

5. Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451", was actually about how television destroys interest in literature, not about censorship and while giving a lecture in UCLA university the class told him he was wrong about his own book, and he just walked away.

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6How to Lose Weight

How to Lose Weight

In 1963, some Barbie dolls came with a book entitled "How to Lose Weight" which advised "Don't eat!" and a bathroom scale permanently set at 110 lbs.

7. Children's books have 50% more rare words in them than does an average showing of adult prime-time television.

8. Dr. Seuss's editor bet him $50 that he couldn't write a children's book in 50 words or less. Dr. Seuss won the bet with his book 'Green Eggs and Ham.'

9. The author would sing the simple four-lined poem in the children’s book ‘Love You Forever’ silently to himself after his wife gave birth to two stillborn babies.

10. Edgar Allan Poe wrote a novel named “The Narrative Gordon Pym of Nantucket” in which a group of shipwrecked survivors draw lots in which the loser will be eaten, the boy who lost was named Richard Parker. 50 years later an English ship sank and the survivors drew lots. The loser’s name was Richard Parker.

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11Christine Maggiore

Christine Maggiore

Christine Maggiore was a AIDS skeptic who wrote the book "What if Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong?" ultimately died from AIDS-related pneumonia.

12. The author of the science fiction novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Philip K. Dick was published in 1968. It said, “There will come a time when it isn't ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.”

13. In the novel 'I Am Legend', the vampires fear crosses, garlic and mirrors, only because they think they should.

14. The writer behind the 'The Iron Giant', Ted Hughes, had written the book for his two children to help explain to them the 1963 suicide death of their mother.

15. The collective nouns we use for animals (gaggle of geese, herd of deer, etc.) mostly come from the ‘Book of St. Albans,’ which was published in 1486. It also included terms for professions such as a melody of harpists, a sentence of judges and a superfluity of nuns.

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16A Study in Scarlet

A Study in Scarlet

The first Sherlock Holmes book "A Study in Scarlet" was the first work of fiction to mention a magnifying glass being used as an investigative tool and is the reason we still connect this item with detectives today.

17. J.R.R. Tolkien began a book named "The Lost Road," which concerned modern-day people experiencing "flashbacks" to their former selfs in the Middle Earth. He died before finishing it.

18. When F. Scott Fitzgerald died, he thought that he was a failure, and his work forever forgotten. His novel, 'The Great Gatsby', was reviewed poorly and had only sold 20,000 copies. It's now considered the greatest novel in American history, and sells over 500,000 copies per year.

19. The book 'Walden' by Henry David Thoreau is often seen as a 'bible' for self-sufficiency enthusiasts. However, while many picture Thoreau as a hermit in the woods, his cabin on the lake was about a mile from town, where he would often go to visit his mother, who did his laundry for him.

20. There is a book called "Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero" written by a neuroscience professor named E. Paul Zehr, which covers in detail how much an ordinary person would need to train and adapt to become Batman.



Between 2000 and 2002, over 1100 priceless books disappeared from the mountaintop abbey of Mont Saint-Odileto in France to the confusion of the monks and the local police, despite reinforcing the library's doors and changing its locks. It turned out that the culprit was using a long-forgotten secret passageway found in the public archives.

22. Despite being a quarter of a million words long, American novelist Herman Melville managed to use a unique word (a word that's only used once in the novel) per every 12 words in 'Moby Dick.'

23. In 'Hannibal' novel, Clarice Starling and Dr. Lecter escape together and become lovers in Argentina. (And Anthony Hopkins liked the ending better).

24. French novelist Jules Verne wrote the novel "Paris in the Twentieth Century" back in 1863 and described a world of glass skyscrapers, high-speed trains, gas-powered automobiles, calculators, and a worldwide communications network.

25. A book entitled ‘Atlanta Nights’ was written by a group of science fiction authors to be intentionally terrible as a test for the publisher PublishAmerica. It included a chapter containing computer generated random sentences and two word for word identical chapters. The publisher accepted it.

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