January is National Book Month

The month of January is National Book Month! This means it’s time to pick up a book from your library and celebrate by reading! If you need a suggestion on what to read, fill out this form, and a librarian will get back to you with three books to try.

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In honor of this month, here are some random facts about books:

  • JMRL has combined holdings of 500,000 items, and the library circulates over 1,600,000 items annually.
  • The first novel written on a typewriter is said to be Mark Twain’s The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer.
  • The first book described as a “best-seller” was by writer Alice Brown in 1889.
  • Teddy Roosevelt read one book a day (and some accounts have him reading up to three books in a day).
  • The first book to sell over 1 million copies was Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
  • The world’s first novel is The Tale of Genji. It is a classic work of Japanese literature written by the noblewoman and lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu in the early years of the 11th century. The original manuscript no longer exists.
  • Bibliosmia is the smell and aroma of a good book.
  • The three most read books in the world are The Holy Bible, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, and Harry Potter.
  • Tsundoku is Japanese slang, and means acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them.
  • Medieval books came with curses- before the printing press was invented, books had to be written and copied by hand. Monk usually had this job and they would protect their life’s work with a variety of curses inscribed at the beginning and at the end of the handwritten tomes.