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Bibliotopia, Or, Mr. Gilbar’s Book of Books & Catch-all of Literary Facts & Curiosities

What Is the origin of the word “book”? What is the oldest working library still in existence? What is an “enchiridion”? An “amphigory”? A “duodecimo”? Which two Nobel laureates refused the prize in literature? How many trees must sacrifice their lives to produce a thousand copies of a 96-page volume of verse? These are some of the questions posed (and answered) in this fascinating farrago of literary trivia, a treasure trove of obscure and irresistible facts, definitions, lists, and quotations that touch on every aspect of books, including their authors, publishers, printers, collectors, critics, readers, and enemies. Under headings that explore the entire history of bibliomania from “The Invention of Paper” to “Some Horror Writers’ Official Websites,” the entries in Bibliotopia provide the insatiably curious reader a delightfully desultory literary education, the kind one might pick up at a cocktail party on Parnassus.

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