Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Writing Trivia

I love trivia and I've been thinking lately about writing trivia. Weird questions like: Who wrote the very first book? What is the most expensive pen in the world? And, who first made paper?

Well, here's a useless blog filled with writing trivia. Hope you have fun reading about things you never knew you wanted to know!


1. What is the most expensive pen in the world?

Aurora’s Diamante! It contains over 30 carats of diamonds. The maker only creates one pen a year! The price is not made public, but it is estimated to cost about $1.28million. My!

2. What was the first book ever written down (not including the Bible, of course!)?

Most scholars say it is the Epic of Gilgamesh. It is said to one of the first novel-like stories. It was written as a Sumerian book of poetry. The surviving version was written on clay tablets in the 7th century BC.

3. Who made the first paper?

A courtier named Ts'ai-Lun, from Lei-yang in China, was the inventor of paper around 105 AD. Notice: it is not papyrus, which was made from sliced flower stems of the papyrus plant. Paper is made of cellulose fibers from wood, cotton, or flax. Its name did come from the word papyrus.

4. When was the first pencil used?

The first pencil may have been a Roman stylus. It was a thin metal stick, made of lead and used for scratching on papyrus. The word pencil comes from the Latin word pencillus. It means "little tail."

5. When was the first home computer marketed?

The first home computers entered the market in 1977. The names of these first machines were the RadioShack TRS-80, the Commodore PET, and the Apple II.

6. When was the first book printed or published?

The Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed with movable type. It was printed at Johann Gutenberg's shop in Mainz, Germany in 1454 or 1455.

7. What was the first book published in America?

The First American book was The Bay Psalm Book. It was printed by Stephen Daye, at Cambridge in New England, in 1640.

8. When was the first laptop computer sold in America?

The I.B.M. 5100 was the first commercially available "portable" computer. It appeared in September 1975. It cost $20,000!

9. What was the most expensive book ever sold at auction?

According to The Most Expensive Journal web site: "Shakespeare’s “First Folio,” a first edition collection of the Bard’s plays was the most expensive book sold at auction in 2006, bringing $5.1 million USD. The book was published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death and contains a dozen plays that have never been reprinted as well as many that are considered classics today."

10. How many books has Harper Lee written (the author of To Kill a Mockingbird)?

Harper Lee's famous book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. She was 34 years old when it was published and it is her ONLY novel. (I'd take that book as MY only novel!)


Calina said...

Hi Dee,
I found your blog through tlc.
I'll check back soon.


Yvonne Blake said...


Tonya @ The Traveling Praters said...

Hi Dee,

Loved the trivia! It's nice to "meet" you here and put a face with the name!:)

Tonya from TLC