50 Books You’ll Never Read The Same Way Again

Make sure you’re sitting while reading this.

1. Vladimir Nabokov wrote Lolita on notecards while traveling on butterfly-collecting trips in the U.S.

2. Vladimir’s wife Vera prevented him from burning the unfinished drafts of Lolita.

3. 50 Shades of Grey is Britain’s best-selling book of all time.

4. Where’s Waldo was originally banned in America for including an illustration of a topless woman.

5. Dan Brown was a pop singer and songwriter before writing The Da Vinci Code.

6. Margaret and H.A. Rey built bicycles from spare parts to escape from a Nazi invasion in Paris while carrying the manuscript for Curious George.

7. Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick was originally published without the epilogue because of a printer failure.

8. Of Mice and Men was originally titled Something that Happened.

9. Steinbeck’s puppy also ate the original manuscript to his classic novel.

10. Alexandre Dumas hired a ghostwriter to help write The Three Musketeers.

11. Franz Kafka asked his friend to burn all of his work. The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika were published against Kafka’s will.

12. Peter Pan allegedly killed the Lost Boys when they got too old.

13. The royalties from Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf go directly to the Bavarian government.

14. The Harry Potter books are the most banned books in America.

15. Alice in Wonderland was originally banned in China for having talking animals.

16. Aladdin was originally Chinese in The Arabian Nights.

17. Lisa from Saved by the Bell (Lark Voorhies) wrote a book filled with grammatical errors.

18. Teeny Ted from Turnip Town is the world’s smallest book.

19. Noah Webster spent 25 years writing his first dictionary.

20. Catch-22 was originally titled Catch-18.

21. The Great Gatsby was almost titled Gold-Hatted Gatsby and Under the Red, White and Blue.

22. Around the World in 80 Days was likely inspired by the life of George Francis Train but he remains uncredited.

23. Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed in film and television more than any human character in literature.

24. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is the first book written with a typewriter.

25. This Side of Paradise includes the earliest recorded use of these words: wicked, cool, daiquiri, and T-shirt.

26. Gulliver’s Travels described the size and orbit speed of the moons circling Mars 100 years before astronomers.

27. J.R.R. Tolkien typed the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy with two fingers.

28. The Harvard University library has four law books bound in human skin.

29. Charlotte’s Web was originally banned in Kansas.

30. Winnie-the-Pooh was also banned in the U.S., Turkey, and the U.K.

31. The Bay Psalm Book is the first book written in America, and it’s the most expensive book in the world.

32. Annie Allen is the first book written by an African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize.

33. Dorothy Straight was named the youngest author ever when she wrote How the World Began at the age of 4.

34. Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in six weeks.

35. Pride and Prejudice was originally titled First Impressions.

36. Robinson Crusoe is considered the first English novel.

37. This The Prophet Mohamed is the world’s largest book.

38. Snooki is a New York Times best-selling author.

39. Jessica Alba is also on the list.

40. And so is the rapper Common.

41. Justin Bieber is also on the best-sellers list.

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42. Nathanael West’s 1939 novel The Day of the Locust features a character named Homer Simpson.

43. Superman was originally a bald megalomaniac.

44. William Shakespeare is the first person to record the words: amazement, bedroom, advertising, blanket, bump, gloomy, puking, gossip, drugged, champion, accused, addiction.

45. The Joker was supposed to be killed off in the No. 1 issue of Batman.

46. Venom was supposed to be a woman.

47. Barbara Cartland finished a novel every two weeks.

48. The Tale of Genji was the first novel ever written, circa 1007.

49. Gabriel García Márquez won’t allow One Hundred Years of Solitude to become a film.

50. The first handwritten Bible (since the invention of the printing press) cost $8 million and took 12 years to complete.

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Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Charles Dickens finished Oliver Twist in six weeks, when it was actually A Christmas Carol.

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