I love facts. One of my childhood nicknames was ‘Cloggsy’ (short for clever-clogs). The only Charles Dickens book I have ever really enjoyed is Hard Times where Gradgrind insists that children are taught only facts and one of my favourite quotes from Dorothy L. Sayers (an author I have admired for years) is ‘facts are like cows. If you look them in the face hard enough they generally run away’.* I am also, like very many people, a huge fan of the tv show QI so a QI book of facts is a bit of a no-brainer for me.
I will admit I read this book from cover to cover before Christmas and I had, originally, planned to give it away as a prize in a quiz I had to write in December. But when push came to shove I just couldn’t do it – I really had to own this book (and you never know when you will have to write another quiz).** The appeal comes, largely from the quality and range of the facts contained within – ranging from the name of the fleshy part at the base of your thumb to the definition of ‘strikhedonia’*** – proving just how hard the QI elves work. But an added bonus is the fact that all the facts are verifiable online (qi.com/1339) and they welcome queries and corrections. Really, I can’t fault their logic and it makes it a book which just keeps on giving!
*The quote is reported to be made by Bunter’s elderly mother.
**Of course if any of my fellow BAAHS members gets their own copy they may be onto a winner…
***Thenar. And ‘the joy of not giving a damn’.