Schott’s Original Miscellany

I have just been given a belated Christmas present by Ben: a book entitled Schott’s Original Miscellany.

Without wanting to overstate the brilliance of this book, it is one of the two best books I have ever read, possibly that have ever been published. (When I say read, this is slightly premature, as I have only skimmed through it. However, the sentiment still stands, and I’m confident that it will continue to stand once I have read it cover to cover. For completeness, the only other book that has ever inspired so much joy in me was Richard P. Feynman’s Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman.)

The book (Schott’s) is a masterpiece for two reasons. Firstly, it contains inordinate amounts of trivia, some useful, some undeniably useless, elements of which will no doubt contribute to future posts right here. I concur with Samuel Johnson in this quote taken from the book: "There is nothing, Sir, too little for so little creature as a man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible."

Secondly, although published in 2002, the book has been designed to appear as if published long ago (thus seeming to increase its authenticity), compiled with a beautiful traditional-looking typeface (Adobe Garamond) and coming without a fancy sleeve.

This is a must-read for all (both?) people who find even a modicum of entertainment in the ramblings of this ‘blog.

Comments

2 Responses to “Schott’s Original Miscellany”

  1. Andski on January 1st, 2006 04:30

    Glad you’ve finally caught up (my dad was a proud recipient the Christmas before last – what kept you?). May I however have the pleasure of driving you nuts by asking you to spot the deliberate mistakes/jokes in the book.

  2. Dan on January 1st, 2006 05:04

    I did notice some oddities on first read, some of which are grammatical annoyances rather than faux-pas.

    Will re-read and get back to you.

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