Today is World Book Day, a day that celebrates everything and anything to do with reading, including the authors, books, illustrators and, of course, readers – those people (like me!) who love to read – and this year is quite a special one as it’s the 20th anniversary of World Book Day!
Whether you’re a 10-year-old child or a 35-year-old adult, there’s no denying the power of the written word and the captivating nature of novels, poetry and other works of fiction. As children, we read stories that are often fun and ignite our imagination; then as our literacy proficiency develops, we look towards novels that may challenge us and make us think. All the while, our imaginations are bringing these stories to life. Books are magical beings!
The aim of World Book Day, alongside celebrating books, is to encourage more children to pick up a book, so this year over 15 million children across the country will receive a book token to take to their local bookstore and choose one of ten exclusive books, including Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Jaqueline Wilson’s Butterfly Beach, or put towards a book of their choice. Plus, many teachers and pupils across the country will be supporting the annual celebration by dressing up as their favourite character…so don’t be shocked if you see Horrid Henry, Willy Wonka or Tinkerbell today!
So, in the spirit of World Book Day and since it’s such a significant milestone for the event – 20 years of celebrating World Book Day – here are 20 facts that you might not know about books…
- The term “bookworm” derives from tiny insects who feed on the binding of books.
- In India, people spend about 10.7 hours a week reading…they are the world’s biggest readers!
- Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is the bestselling book of all time.
- Around 150,000 new books are published in the UK each year.
- Apparently, page 18 in a book is the page most readers lose interest at!
- 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, read an average of one book per day. That’s impressive!
- The Brontë sisters used pseudonyms for their work, preserving their initials: Charlotte was “Currer Bell“, Emily was “Ellis Bell” and Anne was “Acton Bell“.
- A somewhat sad prospect, but it is predicted that within three years, 75% of books will be sold online and only 25% in bookstores.
- The longest sentence is 823 words long and features in Victor Hugo’sLes Miserables.
- Charles Dicken’s had a secret door in his house disguised as a bookcase! Who knew?!
- The first novel written on a typewriter is said to be Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
- Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought was the very first book to be bought on Amazon in 1995.
- The Japanese word ‘tsundoku’ apparently means “buying lots of books and then never getting around to reading them”.
- ‘Bibliosmia’ is the word for the enjoyment of the smell of old books. Who doesn’t love the smell of an old book?!
- The realAlice in Wonderland was named Alice Lindell. Her family was friends with the author and he penned the story for her when she was 10.
- Books used to be shelved “backwards” with the spine facing the back of the shelf and the fore-edge facing out.
- In 2007, the world’s smallest book was published called Teeny Ted from Turnip Town. The book’s size is 0.07 mm x 0.10 mm, and its pages, which are too small to be read even using a microscope, are printed on a single tablet. What a novel idea!
- Ever used the word “nerd”? Well did you know that Seuss coined the word in his 1950 book If I Ran the Zoo?
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published in 1998, the same year the final Battle of Hogwarts was fought. Rowling has said,”I open at the close”.
- Part of the M6 toll road is built from copies of pulped Mills and Boon novels. 2.5 million books were shredded into a paste and then added to a mixture of asphalt and Tarmac to prevent it cracking.
Happy World Book Day everyone!
What’s your favourite book? Are you dressing up for World Book Day 2017? We’d love to hear from you, so tweet us @Mango_Marketing