Friday, December 02, 2011




They're like the internet, only they're made out of paper and ink and glue and stuff, and live on shelves instead of Google. Let's hear it for books!

Some facts about books, which are excellent:

1. All Penguin books are written by actual fish-guzzling penguins, otherwise falling (oh-ho!) "fowl" of the Trades Description Act

2. Salman Rushdie was initially published by Penguin, until the awful revelation that he was a fish

3. The world's best-seling book is - of course- The Bible. However, the sequel "Jesus: My Life in Pictures" soon found itself in the remainder bins

4. Coming soon: Dan Brown's The Rembrandt Puzzle, in which Tom Hanks saves the world from an evil religious sect by solving a number of mind-bendingly simple puzzles, or something

5. JK Rowling is to make her literary comeback with an original and hard-hitting series of adult novels set in a university, where all the students have magical powers. And the Professor from the Faculty of Dark Arts is possessed by one Lord V. Oldemort.

6. Russia's greatest literary work, War and Peas by Leo Tolstoy tells the epic tale of Napoleon's invasion of Russia, set in the restricted confines of a vegetable farm

7. The world's best-selling horror book for children is The Very Hungry Human Caterpillar

8. Shakespeare initially tried his hand as a science-fiction writer, and only turned to the theatre after "Space Hamlet" was turned down by all the major publishers

8.5 Any book can be made 125% better by adding the words "in space" to the title, and setting it in space. For eg: Germaine Greer's feminist classic The Female Eunuch in Space.

9. George Orwell also changed genres to find fame, and original and extremely rare editions of his "Nineteen Eighty Porn" can still be found by collectors

10. Romantic author Barbara Cartland earned a few bob on the side writing the instructions in the popular Haynes Manuals. A signed, first edition of 'Ford Escort 1974-79: Complete strip-down and re-build' can command up to £500

10.5 This is because - due to a printer's error - the book featured a complete strip-down and re-build of Barbara Cartland. Niche market.

11. Terry Pratchett's first attempt at fantasy writing was Dick World - the tale of an entire society living on the back of Richard Nixon's head. However, an accident with a cream cake changed a couple of letters, and the rest - as they say - is history

You might wish to read more FACTS about BOOKS courtesy of those BOOK-loving scamps at the Waterstones Oxford Street Branch. MORE BOOK FACTS

Books, everybody! Let's hear it for books!

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