Literature

Our Literature Channel explores all kinds of writing, from the classics to the current bestsellers. Check out our literature lists and articles.

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How Todd Bol Started the Little Free Library Movement

You've probably seen the cute little houses on posts in people's yards. They're Little Free Library boxes and they're found in all 50 states and in 88 countries.

Why So Many Women Remember 'Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret'

This groundbreaking classic of young adult lit is finally headed for the big screen some 40 years after it was first published. Why can so many of us still recite lines from it?

3 Views of 'Little Women' on Film

This classic is celebrating its 150th anniversary of publication this year. With new adaptations coming out, we look at how other movie versions of "Little Women" were tweaked to fit the times.

You've Heard of Smallpox, But What Was the Great Pox?

Today, when we think of a "pox," we think of smallpox. But in Shakespeare's time, the word referred to a dreaded sexually transmitted disease.

True Stories of How 'A Wrinkle in Time' Inspired Female Scientists

HowStuffWorks talks to three modern-day "Megs" to find out how they were inspired by the character's bravery, ambition and intelligence to pursue real-life scientific success.

Would a Hobbit Be Healthy Enough to Go Adventuring?

If hobbits were real, could they really maintain the energy needed to undertake the quests of 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings'?

This Book Was the 'WebMD' of the 18th and 19th Centuries

'Domestic Medicine' was the most popular health guide for over 100 years. Which advice still holds up today and which is plain dangerous?

Ridiculous History: Want to Be a Manlier Man? Use These Tips From Walt Whitman

Before the days of Esquire and GQ, the famous poet wrote about men's health and grooming in newspaper columns. How does his advice stack up today?

5 Things You Didn't Know About Charlotte Bronte

It's been more than 200 years since her birth and we're still learning new things about this famous novelist.

6 Things You Didn't Know About Maya Angelou

Although this writer and poet wrote seven volumes of autobiography, there are still some things you may be surprised to learn.

Are There Really Kids' Authors Who Hate Kids?

From Margaret Wise Brown to Beatrix Potter, some children's authors have reputations for disliking kids. Are the rumors true?

Many Stories Have One of Six 'Beautiful Shapes'

There's so much great fiction out there, but, as it turns out, many of these stories have something in common: their emotional arc.

This Bookstore Sells Only One Book at a Time

The anti-Amazon bookstore in Japan sees maximum pleasure in minimalism.

Ridiculous History: Beloved Author Roald Dahl Was Also a Suave British Spy

We know him as the beloved creator of Willy Wonka and the BFG, but Roald Dahl worked as a James Bond-style spy in his early years.

Reading 'Harry Potter' Influences How Americans View Donald Trump

The wizarding novels promote tolerance and oppose authoritarianism. What does that mean for how Potter fans view the Republican presidential candidate?

Can reading 'Harry Potter' make you less prejudiced?

We're all told as children that reading opens our horizons and helps us learn, but does "Harry Potter" expand young minds more than your average kids' book?

Did Shakespeare use real witches' curses in 'Macbeth'?

Since the 1600s, performances of "Macbeth" have been plagued by accidents and mysterious mishaps. Is it all because Shakespeare used actual witches' curses in the play?

Top 10 Wizarding Fails

In the hope of educating future wizards, we give you this sorcerer's hall of shame, populated by those who fell from grace, grasped for the stars or failed to leave the tarmac in the first place. How did your favorite wizard fare?

The 21 Best-selling Books of All Time

It's easy to find out how many copies most albums sold or how much money a movie made on its opening weekend. But when it comes to books sales numbers can be hard to pin down. That's where we come in.

20 Best-Selling Children’s Books of All Time

The 20 bestselling children's books come chock full of all kinds of wonderful characters -- from bunnies and puppies to boy wizards and cats with crazy hats. Know a few, do you?

How Poetry Works

Chances are you've probably read a poem or two in school, had to memorize a poem at some point, or maybe even wrote a poem yourself. But what exactly is poetry?

How LibriVox Works

A Web-based service called LibriVox is reading and recording some of the great literary classics. But where did the idea for LibriVox originate, and how much will an audio book cost?

Top 10 Rare Books

Three things make books valuable: supply, demand and condition. Most collectors seek out these works because of their associations with famous authors and historical events. Some want them because they're really, really old.

How to Find the Value of Old Books

Everyone dreams of finding that rare first edition in Grandma's attic, but how would you know such a treasure if you found one? Book appraising takes years to master, but we've laid out the basics here.

What is the oldest book in the world?

Here's something to think about: The oldest book in the world can be replaced at any time by a new discovery. So what book currently holds the record?


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