Books Beyond The Books

Why do we give gifts at Christmas?

UK shoppers are predicted to spend an average of £544 each this Christmas. US shoppers will fork over $862 apiece. But why do we give gifts at Christmas, anyway? Contrary to what the naysayers would have you believe, presents at Christmas are NOT an invention of Toys ‘R’ Us. The…

Where do “table manners” come from?

We’ve all been there when we were little nippers. The family’s having a get together, Aunty Judy has already had five glasses of wine and is telling everyone about her holiday romance in The Maldives. Meanwhile, under the table that bothersome little cousin is biting everyone’s knees whilst you’re trying…

14 unusual words for parts of the body

I stumbled across the word dactylion the other day, and I suddenly found myself curious about other unusual words for parts of the human body. I was never lucky enough to take an anatomy class in high school, so diving into the linguistic world of body bits was a voyage of…

3 ways history was more colourful than you think

Most of the records from days of yore come through in black and white. Colour photography didn’t become popular until the mid-20th century, which gives us the impression that everything that came before then was rather drab. Pre-photography records only come in whatever physical artifacts have managed to weather the…

Getting Lost

We’ve been searching high and low for the best songs for a Spotify playlist about things that are missing, vanished, and found. Give it a listen whilst you read this blog. The playlist is open and collaborative – so please add in your own songs all about things lost and found. Can you…

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