09/04/2022 “BOOKS”   Leave a comment

Are you an avid reader? I’ve been one since a very early age and it will continue forever. One of my favorite reads is just about anything ever written by Isaac Azimov. He was a prolific writer as well as a noted intellectual. His areas of interest were many but today I’ll post a few facts he gathered concerning books since we’ve both shared a love for them. Books are great and history is even greater. How can I go wrong posting about the history of books?

  • Columbus had with him on his first voyage to the New World a copy of Marco Polo’s book about his 13th century, twenty-two-year odyssey to China and back.
  • Twice as many books on religion were published in England as works of fiction in 1870. Sixteen years later, novels far outnumbered religious works.
  • The Library of Congress houses over 72 million pieces of research material, including over 16.5 million books and 31 million manuscripts, and costs over $150 million a year to run.
  • The Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels was ignored in Germany when it was published in 1848, and a Russian translation was suppressed by censors in the 1860’s. It remained a rare pamphlet until it was reprinted in 1872.
  • The art of printing from wooden blocks with the characters in reverse was initiated in Buddhist monasteries in China. The oldest surviving printed book that can be reliably dated is a Buddhist text, the Diamond Sutra, made in China in 868 A.D.

  • Euclid is the most successful textbook writer of all time. His book Elements dated around 300 B.C. has gone through more than 1000 editions since the invention of printing.
  • General Lew Wallace’s bestseller Ben Hur was published in 1880 and was the first work of fiction to be blessed by a Pope.
  • America’s first best-selling novelist was a woman, Susanna Haswell Rowson. Although it was a melodramatic work with wooden characters and a hackneyed plot, Charlotte Temple, published in 1791, appealed to popular tastes. It went through more than 200 editions.
  • Icelanders read more books per capita than any other people in the world.
  • To get her book published, in 1896, Fannie Farmer had to pay publishers Little, Brown and Company the printing costs for the first 3000 copies. The publisher refused to take the risk, saying that women would not buy still another collection of recipes. Ironically, her Boston Cooking School Cook Book eventually became the most popular cookbook of its time and a “gold mine” through the years for the publisher; millions of copies have been sold in dozens of editions.

THANK YOU ISAAC

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