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Episode 1584

Sleepy Winks

It was a dark and stormy night. So begins the long and increasingly convoluted prose of Edwards Bulwer-Lytton’s best-known novel. Today the annual Bulwer-Lytton Contest asks contestants for fanciful first sentences that are similarly...

Episode 1577

Mystery Date

A librarian opens a book and finds a mysterious invitation scribbled on the back of a business card. Another discovers a child’s letter to the Tooth Fairy, tucked into a book decades ago. What stories are left untold by these forgotten...

Blame Tutivillis, the Writers’ Demon

If you’ve ever sent a really important email and only later caught an embarrassing misspelling right there in the message header, there’s no longer any need to blame yourself. Blame Tutivillis, the medieval demon who introduced errors...

The Ex-Mrs. Bradford

Another followup to our conversation about items left in library books and forgotten: a former reference librarian in Denton, Texas, shares photographs of a most unusual business card hidden away in a book and found by a colleague. The front side is...

Episode 1539

Clever Clogs

Ribbon fall. Gallery forest. You won’t find terms like these in most dictionaries, but they and hundreds like them are discussed by famous writers in the book Home Ground: A Guide to the American Landscape. The book is an intriguing collection...