It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it. ~Oscar Wilde
Books. One can never have too many of them! I used to dream of owning one of those illuminated Celtic manuscripts but sadly they're beyond my budget.
So here's my number one reason for reading really good literature ~ you know, the snobby stuff, the stuff everyone thinks should be read & very few people actually enjoy: In his poem, Paradise Lost, John Milton used 8 ooo different words but Dr Suess wrote Green Eggs & Ham because his editor challenged him to write a book containing less than 50 different words. On the other hand Frank Baum seemed singularly stuck for inspiration; his famous fictional country, Oz, was named for his second filing cabinet, the O ~ Z one!
I like detective fiction, which seems to have begun with Poe in 1841 with Auguste C. Dupin, & "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." Poe creeps me out so I've never actually read this one. I lost my taste for Poe when he bricked someone up alive & my overactive imagination had a field day. I do have a soft spot for Holmes, water pipe & all, but he never said, 'Elementary, my dear Watson.'
Actually misquotes are fun & tend to take on a life of their own. " Lead on MacDuff," makes more sense to modern ears than, " Lay on MacDuff and damned be him who first cries ‘Hold! enough!" MacBeth is good for misquotes. Remember those witches brewing trouble? They didn't notoriously say, " Bubble, bubble, toil & trouble, " but "Double, double toil and trouble".
The only novels I don't read are Romances. Can't stand 'em ~ which is a pity because Barbara Cartland is the top selling author with 500 million copies sold! Guess her estate is not really in need of any contributions from me.
OK, so everyone knows the Bible is the best selling book of all time & some of us know that Agatha Christie outsells every other crime writer but do you know the best selling children's book? This one cracks me up; The Poky Little Puppy! That's sort of sad. The Poky Little Puppy outsells Winnie the Pooh & the Wind in the Willows & other children's books that have far more literary value.
Now for the really scary trivia. The highest price ever paid for a book was $8 802 500.00 in March 2000, for J.J Audubon's 1840 edition of Birds of America. I'm assuming this is an identification book so why the big bucks for something you can't use given the number of extinct species?
And the most curios piece of trivia is for The Tale of the Genji, which has the curious honour of being the first recorded novel of all time, written by Murasaki Shikibu in 1008.