I recently came across a great little book for people who love books.  It is titled “The World Almanac and Book of Facts for Booklovers” and, while it is only 96 pages long, it is chock-full of information on books, authors, award winning books, libraries, bookstores, etc.  The book was published in 2005, so it is not completely up-to-date with the latest of the various well-known book awards, but it still has tons of interesting information.  Planning a trip?  One page lists several authors whose homes are open to tour and another page lists the burial spots of various well-known authors. There is also a list of the Presidential Libraries.  And, near the end of book, there is a list of recommeded fiction and non-fiction books that are tied to or related to various locations both in the U.S. and around the world.

 There is a great list of “new” books from 2004 for children.  The list is broken down for Younger Readers, Middle Readers, and Older Readers.  Even though these were new in 2004, they make a great list for picking up good reads for your kids.

One interesting section was a list of the books that “World Almanac” editors consider to be the “Most Influential Books” of all time. The list consists of 1)The Bible, 2)The Koran, 3)On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection (Darwin), 4)The Communist Manifesto (Marx & Engels), 5)The Republic (Plato), 6)Mein Kampf (Hitler), 7)The 95 Theses (Luther), 8)Two Treatises of Government (Locke), 9)Relativity: The Special and General Theory (Einstein), and 10)The Prince (Machiavelli).  I am sure not everyone would agree with everything on the list, but I think they did a good job of narrowing down the multitude of books that have been published through the years and picking the overall most influential ones.

Another interesting list is of the 100 Largest Libraries in the United States.  It probably wouldn’t take you long to guess that the largest library in the country is the Library of Congress, with 29,550,914 volumes as of 2003.  Harvard University has the 2nd largest library, with the 3rd largest being in the same city, the Boston Public Library.  Our nation’s largest city, New York, has the 20th largest library. However, that is a little misleading since the Queens Borough Public Library is also on the list, coming in higher as the 8th largest.  And Columbia University, which is in New York, comes in at 14th, and the Brooklyn Public Library is 27th.  So the New York area is definitely well represented!  As a resident of Columbia, SC, I was proud to see that the 56th largest library in the country is right here in our city, at the University of South Carolina.

The book contains a terrific list of websites related to books and authors.  The Internet Directory contains lists of websites related to Audio Books, Authors, Bestseller Lists, Blog Sites Related to Literature and the Publishing World,  Book Reviews, Book Signings, Used and New Bookstores, Chat Sites, Children’s Authors, Children’s Sites, Dictionary & Word Sites, Digital Libraries, Literary Awards, News, Playwrights, Reference, Poetry, Public Domain Works, Publishers, the Publishing Industry, Quotations, Short Stories, What’s New on the Internet, Writing Associations, and Writing Tips.  So you can see, there are many websites listed that you have probably never heard of and would find very helpful.

I found this little book to be fascinating.  I hope “The World Almanac” will publish an updated edition, but this edition, even though it was published in 2005 is still very interesting and useful.